ABU DHABI // Grand Prix fans gathered at Abu Dhabi Corniche last night, watching a race taking place halfway around the world that could have put a dampener on next week's big event in Abu Dhabi.
A few hundred residents and tourists watched intently on three large screens as cars sped around the track in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The event was part of the city's series of free activities on the Corniche, including a Brazilian parade.
Roshan Fernandez, from India, arrived early to watch what he said was a curtain raiser to the city's most exciting event, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina circuit next Sunday.
"There is a great energy because everyone is looking forward to attending next week as it is such a big deal, and this only highlights that," he said.
Student Andrew Horbury, who, with two friends, is visiting from England especially for the race, said viewing the excitement in Brazil on the big screen was one of the highlights of their trip.
"This is just a nice way to enjoy the city and to get ready for the big day that we came all this way for," he said.
The students' wish that Fernando Alonso, Ferrari's Spanish driver, would miss out on the win that could have clinched him the world title came true. Alonso finished third, meaning Abu Dhabi's race will be the decider.
Mark Little, who moved to Abu Dhabi from Australia with his wife Caroline six months ago, said: "I'm very passionate about the race and have a front-row seat for next week, so I wanted to have a somewhat similar experience tonight."