Abu Dhabi from Build Up to Race Day

3 11 2009

Excitement Builds Up

Billed as the first OFFICIAL* twilight F1 race in history and built with zillions of eco-unfriendly oil bucks. This was the spectacular Finale for the 2009 Formula One season.

Here are some exciting facts to wet your appetite about the circuit that I have gleamed from their fantastic website.

Track Length (centre line): 5.555 Km
Track Length (ideal line): 5.491 Km
Track Width: 12 m – 16 m
Start / Finish Straight Width: 15 m

Longest Acceleration Section: 1173 m
Estimated Top Speed (F1 in front of turn 8): 317 Km/h
Estimated Lap Time (F1): 1 min : 40 sec

PADDOCK AREA (paved) 40 000 m2
RUN OFF AREA (asphalt) 59 100 m2

PROJECT AREA: 161.9 Hectares

Wanting to be a spectator to the first day-night F1 race?

For those intending to be spectators the instruction attached to your race ticket are most spectacularly detailed (4351 words to be precise), but there is important stuff to leave at home other than the obvious AK47 that your normally carry around for personal protection and you have to re-assign your pet Rottweiler its guard-dog duties to guide-dog duties.

i. any alcohol, food, beverages, glass bottle or container, any metal flag or banner pole, any flag or banner pole longer than 1 metre, chairs, benches, stools, any cooler box or hamper or helium balloons;

ii. pets or animals (other than a guide dog used to assist a Patron with a disability);

iii. any item that could be used as a weapon or firearm (whether imitation or not);

iv. golf buggies, bicycles, scooters, skateboards and roller blades/skates, fireworks, laser pointers, frisbees, prams and strollers, musical instruments and/or amplification equipment including public address systems, distress signals, whistles, loud hailers, horn or bugle, electronic equipment or other broadcast equipment;

v. any other item for which a Patron does not, in the opinion of ADMM, have an ordinary and reasonable use and which may be used to damage or deface property, buildings or any part of the Circuit and surrounding areas, hinder, obstruct or interrupt the Race or adversely affect public safety, any goods or Tickets for the purpose of sale or commercial distribution, any dangerous goods and any other item prohibited by law.

Source: http://www.yasmarinacircuit.com/en/all-you-need-know.html

I guess this is to ensure that the UAE and FOM organisers provide all the entertainment and not the spectators and to protect various FOM approved commercial interests.

My unanswered letter of request to the organisers

Since I am not allowed to bring my own food I trust as the organizers you have food outlets that meet my strict dietary requirements for it to be prepared as Kashrut. Here is an abbreviated list of such requirements.

i) Only mammals that both chew their cud (ruminate) and have cloven hooves can be eaten (this excludes camels, rabbits and horses but I will consider giraffe meat).

ii) Only birds that do not eat other birds or bits of other vertebrate animals (carrion) can be considered. Only species of bird traditionally found in the Middle East can be prepared but this can be stretched to include the “Fowl of India”, which has to have been grain-feed. New World birds like Turkeys are forbidden. Finally birds that are feathered and able to immediate walk (precocial) can also only be considered so please no songbird pasties.

iii) Meat from the sea and rivers must have both fins and scales. Meat and milk may not be prepared together, this means served as in the same meal, served or cooked using the same utensils, or stored together.

iv) Mammals and bird meat must be slaughtered by a shochet with a shechita. The animals must be free of any disease or medical condition or defeat (either at birth of having developed latter). The slaughter must be done using a single continuous cutting action with a sharp knife that severs the jugular vein, carotid artery, esophagus or trachea and ensures the animal avoids unnecessary pain. As much blood as possible must be removed from the meat prior to further preparation and cooking.

v) All utensils used for preparing, cooking and serving may not have had contact with food not prepared to Kashrut standards and must be prepared by the hands of people who share my same religious belief and therefore who also only eat Kashrut-prepared food.

For further details please refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashrut

My Race Summary

Some young German dude won when UK’s favourite champion retired. It could have gone wrong for this guy as a young Spanish dude accidentally drove into his pit spot just before he was pitting. Minor excitement included when a young Japanese dude overtook the “World Champion to be” driving a Toyota in only his second race with it. Lots of farewells, some official like BMW Sauber (with the cryptic Servus on their backsides meaning “bye” in Bavarian) and others unofficial (bye bye Romain Grosjean and keep in touch through Twitter and to Kazuki Nakajima there is a position going for kitchen staff at Kamui Kobayashi father’s sushi bar which he had originally reserved for his son).

I spent most of the time during the race installing the new KDE 4.3 NetBook Remix Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) based Operating System launched late last week on a Lenovo S10e netbook. It looks great with funky cover flows to navigate across your open windows. One problem is that they seem to have forgotten a bin to get rid of unused icons such as the Firefox Install Icon. The pre-loaded Konquorer web browser is utterly useless as it does not open Google Documents nor works with Sidepodcast Real-time Doohickey. Absurd your would have thought they would have tested their browser with this benchmark F1 website.


I was very disappointed with Abu Dhabi – if you compare it to Brazil or Japan. Sure it was not deciding any championship (other than who will be the first loser) but somehow I did not get the feeling of a passionate public watching an epic race. It seemed like little toy cars rotating around a rather large blob of an over-decorated Xmas tree which was being watched by a surveillance webcam automatically posting videos onto YouTube. Utterly soulless.

Joe’s Blog summarised it rather more eloquently as “Great Place Poor Race”

* I think many would consider the first race of the season held in Melbourne, Australia to be unofficially and un-intentionally the first twilight race in F1 history.




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