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Abu Dhabi GP kicks off with ‘Super Thursday’ and Pit Lane Walk

Formula One fans from around the world get a rare glimpse of teams hard at work before the race

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: As Abu Dhabi prepares to close out yet another exciting season of racing that will again see Lewis Hamilton collect his Drivers’ Champion trophy at Yas Marina Circuit, fans of the sport were given an inside look at this year’s teams fine tuning their cars on Thursday ahead of the on-track action.

Kicking off ‘Super Thursday’, the public queued to enjoy the popular Pit Lane Walk at the Circuit before the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Opening the pit lane to the public enabled F1 fans from across the globe to witness their favourite teams and drivers preparing for the final race in the 2017 calendar.

Wearing a streaky, fiery red wig, Anthony Hvala, president of the Scuderia Ferrari Club Melbourne, stood out amid the buzz and excitement in the pit lane.

“This is my second time in Abu Dhabi, I love coming here. My first time was in 2012 and I wore the wig then as well. It goes around the world with me. I’ve been going to grands prix since 1996.

“I love this venue. It’s purpose-built for a day-night race. If I could come here every year for the Grand Prix I would.

“I’ve met the drivers many times over the years, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, and previously Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. I was also lucky enough to meet Michael Schumacher once in 2012 at Melbourne, which was his last year in Formula One — that was a dream come true.”

“I won a competition with Ferrari in 2014 and after that Ferrari asked me to set-up a fan club in Melbourne, and we’re now officially supported by the team and they’ve been great.”

For the first time, racegoers at Yas Marina Circuit got the chance to purchase a Yas Hot Lap around the iconic F1 Circuit in either a Jaguar F-TYPE or a Radical SST, driven by a racing professional.

Organisers advised a limited number of one-day Friday Abu Dhabi Hill tickets are still available.