x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Police gearing up for F1 fans

Police are planning security to cope with the thousands of motor enthusiasts predicted to descend on Yas Marina.

ABU DHABI // As fans and organisers count down to the inaugural Formula One grand prix in Abu Dhabi, police are planning security to cope with the thousands of motor enthusiasts predicted to descend on Yas Marina. Police yesterday met a delegation from the International Federation of Motorsport and representatives from Etihad Airways and motoring organisations in the UAE to discuss plans for the three-day event ending with the race on November 1.

Major-Gen Ubaid al Hiri al Katbi of the Abu Dhabi Police said officials were trying to co-ordinate planning with all the relevant groups. About 50,000 F1 fans from all over the world are expected to attend each of the three race days, in which 20 Formula One cars will roll on to Yas Island for the first Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The circuit, still under construction, will see big names such as the current world champion Lewis Hamilton, this year's pacesetter Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello and Sebastian Vettel, compete in the finale to the season.

The track will feature a 1.3km straight on which the cars will reach speeds up to 300kph. It will be one of only four circuits in the 17-race competition where the cars are driven anti-clockwise. hhassan@thenational.ae