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.