It’s the only motorsports venue in the world where all of the grandstands are covered and part of its pit lane exit runs underneath the track for premium motorsport events. Here you can also engage in a complete driving experience, with tuition and driving packages available at the Yas Racing School, Yas Drag Racing Centre and Yas Kartzone.
When Silverstone, the grand old dame of British motor racing, was looking a bit scruffy, it was cut from the racing calendar like some tired greyhound with a gammy knee. Silverstone wasn’t the only thing to fall under the hammer. Over the years, other established circuits such as Indianapolis have gone, being replaced by Bahrain, Shanghai, Turkey and – more recently – Singapore, Valencia, India, Korea and Abu Dhabi.
Ever since the unveiling of the model of Yas Marina Circuit back in late 2008, the track has attracted special attention. Like a calling card for the city, the glistening 50,000-seater facility is one of the first things visitors see as they land at Abu Dhabi airport (should they sit on the left-hand side of the plane, that is). If Silverstone got the boot because of its antiquated facilities, Yas Island shows us why. If you need a berth for your 100m-long super-yacht, the marina has you covered; a 60m-high VIP suite known as Sun Tower ensures unobstructed views for the ‘very important people’, and The Yas Viceroy Hotel has the privilege of being the only hotel in the world to straddle a Formula 1™ track.
The full Formula 1™ track is 5.55km (3.4 miles) long and comprises 21 turns, 12 left and nine right, with an estimated lap time of 1 minute 40 seconds. It runs in an anti-clockwise direction. The second and third configurations of the track are shorter at 3.15km (1.9 miles) and 2.36km (1.46 miles) respectively. The two additional tracks can also run independently of each other, making it possible for the circuit to hold two events simultaneously if necessary, which just adds to its world-class appeal.
Abu Dhabi has gained the prestige and publicity of a genuinely loved world sport, thanks to a facility that has continued to bring in tourists and visitors year-round. It truly is a winning formula.
Yas Marina Circuit Facts & Figures
• Circuit occupies 336 acres
• Comprises 95 buildings with 961 rooms/offices
• The track is 3.45 miles long with 21 turns
• The run off area is 635,000 square feet
• It covers 3.1 million square feet of turf
• There’s over 1,200 palm trees here
• There are 5 miles of roads within the circuit
• About 140 40-foot containers will be delivered to the circuit for an F1™ race weekend
• In addition, 40 tonnes of cars and equipment will be air-freighted on five Boeing 747 cargo planes