x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

10 reasons to care about the Grand Prix

Last year was the first race for Abu Dhabi and this year promises to be even better for many reasons, but some people still don't quite grasp what the Grand Prix means to the capital.

So, what's this whole Formula One thing all about, anyway?
Sounds crazy to ask, but it's certainly a plausible question for some people in this area. Last year was the first race for Abu Dhabi and this year promises to be even better for many reasons, but some people still don't quite grasp what the Grand Prix means to the capital.
So, for you dear readers who are still struggling to see what the big deal is about, despite the five or 10 stories a day in our esteemed newspaper about it, I've compiled a list; it's not a guide to the drivers or the cars, nor is it a rundown of the current F1 rules. No, this one is a bit simpler. For you, here is a Top 10 list of reasons why you should care about the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, counting up to the most important.
10. The money
Thousands of people from around the world will be coming to Abu Dhabi and spending their money while they're here. There are no figures on spending from last year's race, but it was figured that the 2008 Bahrain Grand Prix raked in US$560 million (Dh2bn) . That's a big chunk of change for Abu Dhabi's hotels and retail outfits.
9. The people
With such a glamorous event, you can bet some of the world's most glamorous people will be here. Try to hang out at some of the swanky hotels to catch a glimpse of them.
8. The parties
All those glamorous people need to do something; if you're lucky, you already blagged an invite to last night's Chequered Flag Ball or tomorrow night's Amber Lounge.
7. Civic pride
Abu Dhabi has come alive in the past two weeks, with events on the Corniche and elsewhere for the whole family. Come early to the Corniche tomorrow for a spot to watch the race.
6. The facilities
Yas Marina Circuit has arguably the best facilities for racing in the world, but F1 uses it for just a weekend a year. The rest of the time, Abu Dhabi gets to enjoy it. The circuit has a race school with real race cars, or you can take your own car out on the track. As well, the Australian V8 Supercars, GT1 and other local series will surely entertain race fans.
5. The concerts
Kanye West? Prince? Are you kidding? If you need help getting excited about these guys, I just can't wake you from your coma.
4. The spectacle
I remember last year, sitting in the stands watching the spectrum of colours change: the race started under the warm, golden glow of the sun, then the sky turned purple at dusk, finally ending under a black sky with the Yas Hotel lit up in purples and reds, the colours of the track jumping out in contrast to the darkness around it. It's beautiful.
3. The noise
If you've never heard an F1 car, well, I can't do it justice in mere words. I can guarantee, though, that it will raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Don't forget some ear protection.
2. History being made
This is the first time that four drivers are in contention for the championship in the last race of the year. And for that reason .
1. The racing
You can bet that all four drivers will be pushing the limit trying to win. Everything is on the line, and there's no point in playing it safe, so expect some of the most exciting racing of the entire season tomorrow.