1.712273-3739469833
People watch the F1 races on the big screen at the Abu Dhabi Corniche yesterday. Race enthusiasts who could not make it to the Yas Circuit caught the action at the Fanzone. Image Credit: ABDUL RAHMAN/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: While racing enthusiasts of all levels enjoyed the final race of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit Sunday, the Corniche also saw its fair share of fans who flocked to the F1 Fanzone at the Yasalam Live on the Corniche venue to see the drivers battle it out for this year's title.

"I wasn't able to buy a ticket this year but I'm very happy that they had set up these screens to give people a chance to see the race, especially as this is the first time that four drivers are competing for the title," Michael Harb, a Lebanese expatriate who is a banking executive said.

"I came straight from work with my co-workers and we're all supporting Sebastian Vettel, especially since he won last year... if he wins again, we're planning a special F1 celebration," he added, smiling.

While fans watched breathlessly as the action unfolded in front of them, there were others who had headed down to the venue simply as a way to enjoy the race with family and friends who are fans of F1 or the four contending drivers.

"I'm not really a sports fan but my husband is. So I'm here to help him support his favourite driver, Mark Webber… he's been trying to tell me about Webber and his racing history all weekend but I prefer simply watching the race for the sake of watching it," Susan Little, a British expatriate nurse, said, laughing.

"I'll be glad when this is all over… while I'll probably hear about it again over the next few days, at least the madness at home will calm down until F1 comes back again next year," she added, smiling.

But no matter whether they were fans or simply observers, everyone agreed that the Formula 1 races and the Yasalam series of events and activities helped to raise everyone's excitement and anticipation about who will be crowned the winner.

"My friends and I were very impressed by the way all the different sides to F1 were brought together both this year and last year… I'll definitely try to get my hands on some tickets next year, but if I don't at least there will be all these great events on the Corniche to look forward to," Alexandre DuBois, a French expatriate said.