Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

27-29 2020 Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Number of Laps: 55

Circuit Length: 5.554 km (3.541 miles)

Race Distance: 305.355 km (189.739 miles)

Direction: Anti-clockwise

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Fastest Lap: 1:39.283, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2019

When is the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix?

The 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will start on 11 December and will culminate with the Grand Prix held on 13 December.

F1 Session Times

Friday 11 December 2020

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Free Practice 1: 13:00-14:30 (GMT: 9:00-10:30)

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Free Practice 2: 17:00-18:30 (GMT: 13:00-14:30)

Saturday 12 December 2020

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Free Practice 3: 14:00-15:30 (GMT: 10:00-1:30)

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Qualifying: 17:00 (GMT: 13:00)

Sunday 13 December 2020

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: 17:10 (GMT: 13:10)

How much do tickets for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix cost?

The Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi is the only circuit in the world that has all its grandstands covered. Every stand has a giant television screen and a spectator capacity of 50,000 sells out every year.

With only five grandstands to choose from (other than the Abu Dhabi Hill), choosing a ticket at the Yas Marina Circuit is not very difficult. The only problem is that the most preferred seats get sold out early.

The prices for the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix have not changed much from last year, but are still among the costliest in the world. But for three spending three days in the sun and with a wide choice of entertainment for all ages, a trip to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is well worth it.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Tickets and Prices

All Prices are in Dirhams or AED (United Arab Emirates Dirham)

The conversion rates are as follows:

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1 AED = 0.38 AUD

= 0.21 GBP

            = 0.27 USD

 3 Days3 Days2 Days2 Days
 Early BirdRegular PriceEarly BirdRegular Price
Main GrandstandN/A2344N/AN/A
Main Grandstand PremiumN/A2461N/AN/A
Main Grandstand ClubN/A2770N/AN/A
Main Grandstand   Yas Suite PremiumN/A4364N/AN/A
Main Grandstand   Yas SuiteN/A4156N/AN/A
North                Grandstand1477211113991999
North Grandstand Premium16412344N/AN/A
North Grandstand Lounge24323040N/AN/A
North Grandstand Yas Suite30003750N/AN/A
West Grandstand17742227N/AN/A
West   Grandstand Premium18752344N/AN/A
West Grandstand Club22162770N/AN/A
West Grandstand Lounge24323020N/AN/A
West Grandstand Yas Suite32443054N/AN/A
West Grandstand Yas Suite Premium33254156N/AN/A
South Grandstand1477211113991999
South Grandstand Club19392770N/AN/A
Marina Grandstand1477211113991999
Abu Dhabi Hill (*General Admission)N/A999N/A(699*)

All Grandstand tickets are reserved and numbered. All grandstands including the uncovered Abu Dhabi Hill (General Admission) have big television screens where you can watch the action on all the three days.

Tickets booked for 3 days are for Friday to Sunday while tickets sold for two days are for Saturday and Sunday only.

The two-day tickets, which get discounted at about 10 per cent from the three-day tickets, turn out to be rather less enticing when you learn that you need a three-day ticket to get a pit lane walk on Thursday.

Club and lounge tickets offer the best view and they place you in the highest section of the respective grandstand. You have access to an air-conditioned lounge and can buy food and drinks.

Yas Suite tickets are located on the top floor of the grandstand and the area is air-conditioned. You can also buy food and non-alcoholic drinks in a Yas Suite.

There are no discounted rates for children at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Children below 7 years of age have to be accompanied by an adult holding a ticket to the particular grandstand.

About Yas Island

Yas Island is a man-made island. Yas was a barren desert plateau and a part of mainland Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi was looking to raise its profile in the tourism sector. In 2006, seeing the success of the Bahrain Circuit, they identified Yas as an ideal place to build a circuit of their own.

As a result, a canal was dredged between Yas and the Abu Dhabi mainland turning Yas into an island. Two years later Yas was converted into a recreational island with a full-fledged F1 circuit with all the facilities you can dream of.

Attractions on Yas Island

  • Ferrari World opened to the public for the first time in November 2010. It is a theme park with its main attraction being the fastest roller coaster in the world. Named Formula Rossa, the roller coaster can reach a top speed of up to 240 km /h (149 mph).
  • Yas Waterworld, a water park, has the Surf’s up! Bubble Barrel slide. It is the largest surfable sheet wave surf in the world.
  • Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi is a theme park that is organised into six theme lands. The theme lands are based on Batman, Superman, Looney Tunes, Hanna Barbera, Flintstones and Hollywood of the past.
  • Yas Links is an 18 hole Championship Golf Course built by dredging 1.8 million cubic meters of material. The venue also includes a Golf Club & Golf Shop, pool area, air-conditioned swing studio and meeting and conference rooms for corporate events.
  • Yas Beach is close to Yas Links and is lined with mangroves. A mangrove tour is organised daily from Yas beach.
  • Du Arena and Forum, located in Yas Bay is a huge open-air concert venue. The venue has hosted many international musicians like Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones, Kylie Minogue, Shakira, Sting and Creamfields.

About Yas Marina Circuit

The circuit was designed by architects Hani Rashid and Lise Ann Couture of New York-based Asymptote Architecture. Spectacular permanent lighting was designed by Rogier van der Heide. Yas Marina Circuit is the largest permanently lit sports venue in the world.

The track was the costliest F1 circuit in the world costing a whopping USD 1 billion (AUD 1.4 billion). Graywacke aggregate was shipped from a quarry from Shropshire, England, to build Yas Marina Circuit track.

The circuit is anti-clockwise in direction and has 21 turns but at 1173 meters (0.7289 miles), has the longest straight in the F1 world. Including the longest straight, the track allows for four main acceleration bursts.

The GP race starts at 5:00 pm local time and continues as the sun sets on the horizon giving spectators a stunning view of the setting sun. The lights on the circuit are switched throughout to enable the drivers to make a smooth transition from daylight to artificial lighting.

The 12 storeys, 499 rooms, luxury resort Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Hotel straddles the circuit forming a bridge over the 18th and the 19th turns.

There are over 70 garages in two pit buildings and they are all air conditioned. Part of the pit exit lane is underground and crosses the circuit before joining it. The team building is located behind the pit building, Media Centre, Dragster track and the  VIP Tower.

All the five massive grandstands, with a seating capacity of 50,000, are fully covered to protect the spectators from the scorching Arabian sun. This is the only covered GP venue in the world.

As the circuit also have facilities for drag racing, off-road racing and a karting track giving hard core fans an opportunity to test their skills. If you attend the driving classes offered, you can take your turn behind the wheel of a Formula Yas 30000 race car.

Most drivers approved of the Grand Prix track with Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg both agreeing that each turn was unique. Giancarlo Fisichella however did not like the underground pit exit.

Kimi Räikkönen in his own brusque way remarked that “the first few turns are quite good, but the rest of it is shit.” However, most drivers agree that the track offers the best grip among all the Formula One circuits.

Winners of the Abu Dhabi Grand Rix

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was inaugurated in 2009. Over the past eleven years four drivers have won the Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton winning the GP 5 times.

Four different constructors have won the Constructors’ Award with Mercedes winning the award five times in a row since 2014. To top it off Mercedes was also a part of the Constructors Award as a member of the team with McLaren. 

YearDriver Constructor 
     
2009Sebastian Vettel Red Bull – Renault 
2010Sebastian Vettel Red Bull – Renault 
2011Lewis Hamilton McLaren –  Mercedes 
2012Kimi Räikkönen Lotus – Renault 
2013Sebastian Vettel Red Bull – Renault 
2014Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 
2015Nico Rosberg Mercedes 
2016Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 
2017Nico Rosberg Mercedes 
2018Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 
2019Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 

Best Vantage Points for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is firmly entrenched in the F1 calendar since its launch in 2009. That is because the circuit has been built from the ground up keeping the ring-side spectator in mind.

FI fans visit Grand Prix venues as much for the off-track activities as they do to watch the live action. The Yas Marina Circuit offers something different from all other circuits in the world.

The Yas Marina Circuit has very few grandstands (only 5 and the Abu Dhabi Hill) to choose from but the stands are very large. You may want to book your tickets in advance because the venue is completely sold out much before the race weekend.

Main Grandstand

Main Grandstand is the place to be in if you are keen on watching the start and end of the race. Directly opposite the team garages, it gives you a great view of the tense pit lane activities.

Only three-day tickets are sold for the Main Grandstand. You will of course be closer to the final podium ceremony and the celebrations. From the Main Grandstand, you will get to see the cars emerging out of the last turn on the circuit, Turn 21, and zooming past the short straight into Turn 1.

If you want more than to watch just the start and the end of the Grand Prix, choose one of the cheaper stands where you will get to see more on-track action like overtaking.

South Grandstand

This grandstand is never far from the action. It is located at the end of the second long straight and overlooks the Turn 11. This turn sees a lot of overtakes as cars coming out of the long straight and the DRS.

The view from this stand is also stunning as the well-lit Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi twinkles brightly in the backdrop of the setting sun.

The South grandstand affords spectators view as the cars negotiate a further 3 turns after Turn 11 before they open up full throttle towards Turn 15. The left apex corner of the stand is the best place to be seated in as it allows the view of the track doubling back on itself before the cars turn into Turn 15.

Marina Grandstand

Marina Grandstand is located a little before the South Grandstand and just after the middle of the second long straight. It has the same spectacular view of the setting sun as that of its higher-priced neighbour.

While you will have to strain your neck to see the overtaking on Turn 11, it is the view of the track on the opposite that grabs your attention. You can view the action on the medium speed Turns 15 and 16 before the cars go into the sharper Turn 17.

Among the lesser-priced of the grandstands, the Marina Grandstand allows you to view the FI cars in various modes of speed. You can watch the cars going past you at full tilt and then at varying speeds as they negotiate the following six turns.

West Grandstand

The west grandstand is an L shaped stand and wraps itself around Turn 8. Cars coming at full speed out of the long straight – the first DRS zone- have to brake hard to negotiate Turn 8.

Liable to overtaking, the drivers negotiate these two slow Turns 8 and 9 before opening up for the next straight and the second DRS zone. A minute later, the cars will appear on the other side of the track negotiating the two slow Turns 20 and 21.

The pit lane entry is clearly visible from this stand and you can even see some of the pit boxes from this stand. You can clearly see the start and the pit stops from this vantage point.

Plenty of giant screens keep you in on the action wherever you might be seated. The stand’s closeness to the paddock gives the spectator a sense of being in on the action. That is perhaps why tickets in this grandstand get sold out the fastest.

North Grandstand

North Grandstand is a huge stand that wraps itself around the hairpin Turn 7 and is horseshoe shaped. Besides overlooking the hairpin Turn 7, the North Grandstand also offers a decent view of the cars negotiating Turns 5 and 6.

Although overtaking around Turn 7 is unlikely, you can see the drivers setting their machines up to try and overtake on the long straight coming up. This straight is the longest straight and the first DRS zone of the circuit.

If positioned at the exit to the hairpin in the grandstand, photography enthusiasts have a very good chance at some nice head-on shots. This is the place at which cars are probably the slowest and nearest to the spectators on the circuit.

Abu Dhabi Hill: General Admission Area

General admission on other race tracks around the world gives you the freedom to roam from one end of the track to another. Whereas at the Yas Marina Circuit, obtaining general admission means being confined to an elevated grassy bank on the interior of the circuit.

If you get to the spot early and choose a good place, the view is not bad. You get to see the action on the multiple corners looking towards the approach towards the hairpin Turn 7. There are giant screens that keep you in touch with the action throughout.

You can go freely around the refreshment and merchandise stalls, but risk losing your coveted place if you so venture. The Abu Dhabi Hill might be alright for last minute fans, but anyone who seriously wants to watch the Grand Prix will do well to shell out a bit more for even the cheapest among the stands.

Access to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is a popular destination for F1 fans and given the limited seating capacity, tickets do get sold out. If you are looking to attend the Grand Prix, you would do well to book your tickets well in time.

The Yas Marina Circuit is well served by two international airports close by. The nearer Abu Dhabi airport and the Dubai airport are both international hubs connected to almost all major cities in the world.

Abu Dhabi Airport is just 10 kilometres from Yas Marina and is 35 kilometres from the city centre.  While taxis are plentiful and are reasonably priced, buses are also available from the airports.

Dubai is one of the most popular shopping destinations in the world and Dubai Airport is 95 kilometres away from Yas Marina. Home to Emirates, one of the largest airlines in the world, this international hub serves more than 90 destinations from Australia to North America.

Abu Dhabi Airport to City

As you come out of the Abu Dhabi Airport arrivals area, take a left turn and follow the long passageway which will lead you to a covered area next to the taxi stand. Plenty of metered and flat-rate taxis are available from the airport to the city.

 Al Ghazal taxis, a popular taxi service in Abu Dhabi, charges a flat rate of 75 Dirhams (28.50 AUD). The 40-minute ride should cost the same in metered taxis also. Going to the Yas Marina, which is only a 10-minute ride away, should be a lot cheaper.

A1 busses depart from outside terminal three for the city. The 24×7 public service charges you only 4 Dhirams (just over 1.50 AUD) to drop you to the city centre. The Etihad Express, which are complimentary buses for Etihad passengers travelling on to Dubai also leave from the same terminal.

To Abu Dhabi & Yas Marina from Dubai

Taking a metered Taxi from the Dubai airport to Yas marina will cost you around 250-300 Dhirams (AUD 95-115). The ride will take about 90 minutes. You can also opt for Emirates Express buses that also depart from the Dubai airport.

A car will take around 90 to 120 minutes to reach Abu Dhabi from Dubai. There is a parking facility at the Shama Park, about 15 km prior to Yas Marina. You can also park at the Yas Mall in Yas Marina. Check if your ticket allows parking at the trackside.

Intercity buses depart for Abu Dhabi from the Al Ghubaiba Bus Station in the center of Dubai city. The bus ride will take two hours and will cost you 25 Dhirams (AUD 9.5). When returning back to Dubai you will have to board a bus at the Abu Dhabi bus station.

Getting to the Yas Marina Circuit

Cabs are available in plenty in the Abu Dhabi city and elsewhere on race weekends. A one way trip from Abu Dhabi to the Yas Marina Circuit should cost around 70 Dirhams (AUD 27).

When leaving the Marina after the race, take a free shuttle bus out of the Marina to the taxi stand. For heading back to the city, the best place to seek a taxi is near the entrance to Ferrari World and Yas Arena.

For those holding tickets for the race, free park and ride shuttle service is available both from the city and the suburbs. Routes 170, 180, 185 and 190 leave from the city to Yas Marina. Those starting from the suburbs will have to look for routes 195, 200, 201, 203, 300 and 304 shuttles. Just produce your tickets to get admission to the buses.

Some hotels offer their guests complimentary shuttle service to and fro for the Grand Prix. Though parking can be pre-booked at the Yas Island Marina, only one parking is permitted for three ticket holders. This is done to avoid congestion and to encourage car sharing.

Getting Around in Abu Dhabi

Taxis abound in Abu Dhabi and the fares are cheap. Taxis with an illuminated sign on their roof are available for hire and will charge a minimum fare of 3.5 Dirhams (AUD 1.35). Ridesharing with Uber is also available in Abu Dhabi.

Buses depart from the Abu Dhabi bus terminal for destinations within the city as well as other cities like Dubai. The fares are 2 Dirhams for a single trip around the city and 4 Dirhams on a regional bus.

Where to stay in Abu Dhabi on the Grand Prix weekend

Hotel accommodations are costly in Abu Dhabi on a race weekend compared to other Grand Prix venues around the world. If budget is not a problem, you could as well choose to stay on the Yas Marina circuit itself at the Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi, a world class five star hotel.

The best option is to stay in the centre of Abu Dhabi. It has many fine hotels and travelling to the circuit and back is not a problem as there is an abundance of taxis.

As there are no hostels in Abu Dhabi, budget options are limited. The best hotels are located close to the Corniche beachside boulevard. Dubai does offer cheaper accommodation, but the two-hour rides to and fro will set you back some.

Please note that the prices quoted by the hotels do not include the 6% tax levied by the city nor the 10% service charge most hotels charge. These charges are payable at the hotel.

There are several luxury hotels on Yas Island if you want to be close to the action and do not mind the cost. But since the demand is high on race weekends, you will have to book a room at least a year in advance.

W Abu Dhabi-Yas Island is a world-class five star hotel. It could set you back 1250 Dhirams (AUD 475) or more per night. Centro Yas Island-by Rotana, is a three-star rated hotel and will charge in the range of 550 Dirhams (AUD 210) per night.

A few minutes’ walk further is the Park Inn Radisson which also offers circuit views. A doubles room at the hotel will cost you 500 (AUD 190) Dirhams and above per night.