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Paddock Club Diaries - 2018 Abu Dhabi GP - Day 2

It was a relatively early start to the morning from Dubai since the Pit Lane Walk on a Saturday is always an interesting affair. Some teams indulge in pit stop practice while some spend time in setting up cars for FP3. The crowd turnout for the first pit lane walk of the day is also pretty low.

Enroute from Dubai :


Shots from the Pit Lane Walk :


Scuderia Ferrari Mechanics warming up and doing their practice pit stops :


Scuderia Ferrari Mechanics warming up ( Video Link ) :




Scuderia Ferrari Team Pit Stop Practice ( Shot with Nikon B700 ) :




Shot with Samsung Note 9 :



Some more shots :


Time to take the GoPro out and indulge in some selfie love :


The Stands and the atmosphere building up for the Qualifying. It was also time for the First Race of the Weekend for the GP3 Series :


GP3 Race 1 Formation Lap ( Video Link ) :




GP3 Race 1 Start ( Video Link ) :




A New Addition to the Hospitality experience in the Paddock Club was the GO Karting Faceoff. The Yas Marina Circuit has a karting track and guests could sign up for a session of karting and have a piece of racing themselves. I finished P5.


I headed back in time for a hearty meal.

The Menu for today :


Lunch, lets dig in :


Photos from FP3 :


Chequered Flag :


Practicing Grid Starts :


Daniel Ricciardo's stricken Red Bull returning to the pits..


Lewis Hamilton was the fastest from Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel. I also had the opportunity to be downstairs in the garage at the end of the session and roam the paddock after that.


The Paddock :


I also had the opportunity to meet people from the F1 Fraternity!

Gerhard Berger, ex F1 Driver :


Former Team Principal Flavio Briatore :


Lando Norris, McLaren Renault F1 Reserve Driver :


Reigning F2 Champion George Russell :


The Boss, CEO of Formula One Group :


Rami Raikkonen, Kimi Raikkonen's elder brother :


7 Time Nascar World Champion Jimmie Johnson!


Billy Monger :


I returned to the Paddock Club and it was time to get ready for Qualifying!

Shots from Qualifying :


I spent a lot of time in the Garage and after Q3 had the opportunity to visit Parc Ferme!


Lewis Hamilton grabbed pole from Valtteri Bottas who ensured a front row lockout for Mercedes. Sebastian Vettel was P3 and Kimi Raikkonen P4...not a bad place to start for the Iceman.


The Post Qualifying Interviews underway : 


The Media, Photographers and the FIA Personnel taking up their positions for the Parc Ferme formalities :


The Mechanics taking the cars to the FIA Weigh Bridge for Scrutiny Post Qualifying :


The Top 3 Finishers posing on Parc Ferme :


The Pole Position Award presented to Lewis Hamilton :


My Favourite place!


We made our way back to the Suite and the time of Kimi Raikkonen visiting the guests there was nearing!

Some great artwork of the Iceman :


The Iceman Kimi Raikkonen is in the House!


Kimi Raikkonen Interview ( Shot with Nikon B700 ) :




Shot with the Samsung Note 9 :




Raikkonen left to return to the comfort of the Team Building while we prepared to see the start of the Formula 2 Feature Race. 

Nicolas Latifi got taken out at the start, his car badly damaged. Indian Racer Arjun Maini was the driver that drove into him unfortunately.


Safety Car Period in F2 Feature Race ( Video Link ) :




F2 Feature Race Restart ( Video Link ) :




F2 Feature Race Pit Stop ( shot with Nikon B700 ) :




Shot with the Samsung Note 9 :




I made my way to the shared Hospitality Area as the Suite shut for the night and there were some great sights to behold

The Yas Viceroy Hotel..glittering in the Night sky :


Veg Panini anyone?


Time to head back..what an amazing sight to behold :


It was a great Saturday Experience at the Yas Marina Circuit and hopes of a strong end to the season by the Ferrari duo was high. I made my way back to Dubai thankful for the opportunity and privilege of being a guest of Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team. 

Sunday Experience to follow soon...

Paddock Club Diaries - 2018 Abu Dhabi GP - Day 1

Kimi Raikkonen said Farewell to the Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team at the end of 2018 as he headed to Sauber F1 Team up until 2020. The news broke out in September and there was enough time to plan for being at the final race of the Iceman with the team. 

I was at Abu Dhabi when Kimi did his final race with Lotus F1 and would repeat the feat again. Here is a quick look at how the Friday experience panned out.

The Race Passes for the weekend :


Enroute to the Circuit. I was staying in Dubai, so the drive to Abu Dhabi was about 90 minutes :


The best way of entry into the circuit is through the Yas Viceroy Hotel and then through the Water Taxi service which drops you near the tunnel which goes under the circuit to the Paddock area :


2 Cars from the Pirelli Hot Laps experience. A man spent 25000 GBP for a Hot Laps Experience with Max Verstappen on Thursday! Wow!


The Stands quite empty on a Friday Afternoon :


The Ferrari F1 Suite with a slightly different layout, this one was Air Conditioned and thankfully so :


The first order of the day was Free Practice 1.


Red Bull Racing Team practicing Pit Stops ( Video Link ) :




The Pit Walls busy during FP1 :


Chequered flag to signal end of FP1 :


Practice Starts at the end of FP1 :


Returning to the Pits :


Max Verstappen was the fastest in FP1 from Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas.


Lunch service :


We were joined by Scuderia Ferrari Development Driver Marc Gene during lunch for a quick Q&A :


Video Link to the Interview :




Pit Lane walk on Friday :


Charles LeClerc!


Emilia Bottas, Finnish Olympian Swimmer and Valtteri Bottas' wife.


We returned to the Paddock Club and it was time for Free Practice 2 :


Chequered flag :


Time to do some practice starts :


The boys returning to the pits :


Max Verstappen returns to the Pits after FP2 ( Video Link ) :




Valtteri Bottas was fastest from Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.


FP2 ended and it was time for Qualifying for the Formula 2 Feature race :


Post Qualifying, all those who had signed up for the Paddock Club Track Truck Tour made their way downstairs for a tour of the track :


Taking in the sights with the GoPro Hero 5 Black :


A Final Walk of the Pit Lane in the evening before heading back.


It was a great day at the Abu Dhabi GP and I would like to thank Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team for the Hospitality extended to me. A Big Thank you to Edge Global Events for organizing the passes and ensuring an enjoyable weekend.

A Gallery of Memories - Part 17

Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

I had the privilege of attending 3 races in 2018. I always desired to be at Kimi's final race with Ferrari and the 2018 Abu Dhabi GP was to be his last before his switch to Sauber F1 Team. 

The weekend experience begins with the Final "Gallery of Memories" post from 2018.


Charles LeClerc, Sauber F1 Team :


Emilia Bottas, Olympic swimmer for Finland and Valtteri Bottas' wife :


Gerhard Berger :

 

Flavio Briatore!


Lando Norris, F2 Driver who will graduate into F1 with McLaren for 2019.


George Russell, Current F2 Champion and Williams Racing driver in 2019 :


Billy Monger :


Chase Carey, the F1 Supremo :


Rami Raikkonen! ( Kimi's elder brother )


7 Time Nascar Sprint Champion Jimmie Johnson!


Jack Aitken, ART F2 Racer and a protegee of the Renault Sports Academy :


Steven Robertson, Kimi Raikkonen's Manager :


Victoria Verstappen, Max Verstappen's Sister :


Minttu Raikkonen, Kimi's wife! It was an honour to meet her!


KIMI RAIKKONEN!!


Tatiana Calderon, Sauber F1 Team Reserve Driver :


Fernando Alonso, McLaren F1 Driver and a Living Legend of the sport. We shall miss seeing him in 2019.


Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India F1 Team :


Marcus Ericsson, Sauber F1 Team. All the best to him for his endeavours in 2019.


Sergio Perez, Racing Point Force India F1 Team :


Toni Vilander, presenter for CMore F1 :


Michel Salgado, ex Real Madrid & Spanish Football Team defender :


Peter Sauber, the boss of the Sauber F1 Team and the man who got many talented drivers into F1 :


Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Team, will be in the A team in 2019 :


Alexander Wurz, ex F1 Driver and now a Steward :


The Paddock Club Diaries from the 2018 Abu Dhabi GP follow soon after. Watch this space!