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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Why is Will Smith in Abu Dhabi? Lewis Hamilton is teaching him how to race

'He granted the old man a wish,' Smith said of learning a new skill from this year's Formula 1 champion

Will Smith is 50, he has a bucket list, and he's being filmed as he ticks things off, one by one. His latest adventure is in Abu Dhabi, and is all about his need for speed.

According to multiple sources close to the Yas Marina Circuit, the Hollywood star will remain in Abu Dhabi over the next few days to shoot an episode for his YouTube series (that sees him working his way through a list of thrills, conquering life-long fears).

A key part of the Abu Dhabi shoot, according to sources, is a scene in which Smith and one of his sons – either DJ Tre Smith (who also posted an IG story of himself in the Yas Marina Circuit) or up-and-coming rapper Jayden Smith – will race each other around the Abu Dhabi track.

And who is getting them prepared for that mission? Last night’s Abu Dhabi F1 winner and this season’s champion, Lewis Hamilton. (So we guess the car they will be driving is a Mercedes, then.)

Hamilton alluded to filming with Smith at his post-race conference yesterday. “Literally 10 minutes before I got into the car we were doing some fun filming which I never do because this is the period of time when I get ready,” he said. “So when I was going into the race I was thinking ‘Geez, I have completely changed my pattern because that was my usual relaxing period.”

Prior to the dusk final at the Abu Dhabi GP last night, a tracksuited Smith jumped into an F1 car with Hamilton and had a tour of the Mercedes garage. The pair posted this comedy video showing that Smith had "kidnapped" Hamilton so that he could drive in the race.

Smith: 'He granted the old man a wish'

Smith confirmed that his Abu Dhabi appearance was part of the YouTube series; speaking to the F1 Channel's Rosanna Tennant on the pre-race driver's parade truck, Smith said that he has been in talks with Hamilton for years in regards to getting behind the wheel of a race car.

"Lewis and I have been talking about this for probably like five years, since the Grand Prix in Monte Carlo. That was the first time I ever came and I'm just speechless, I love this, this is so exciting,” he said.

“I'm doing a thing called the bucket list. I turned 50 this year and I decided I'm going to do everything I want to do. He granted the old man a wish." Smith was a ubiquitous presence throughout the racing weekend at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Armed with a film crew, the Bad Boys actor received unfettered access to the drivers and Yas Marina Circuit during the F1 races - he even got to wave the checkered flag at the end of the final race. While there are no details of when the Abu Dhabi experience will be released on YouTube, Smith has already released two episodes in the space of as many months.

The third and latest episode, released on November 1, had Smith skiing in Dubai.

The series premiered in September with Smith bungee jumping off a helicopter in the middle of the Grand Canyon, this was followed up a month later with Smith surfing alongside actor and comedian Liza Kosh.

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