After catering to the local motorsport and health and fitness communities for the past 11 months, Yas Marina Circuit has closed its garage doors to the grassroots motorsport teams, the fitness evenings have been put on hold and the rental bikes stored away.
That is because the circuit is gearing up to host the title-deciding 2016 Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
It is no surprise that cleaners, painters, caterers, gardeners, motor racing experts, and logistics managers have now taken charge of preparations to transform the scene for one of the most eagerly-awaited sporting weekend of the year.
Over the next two weeks, the Circuit’s famous blue run-off areas will take on a deeper hue after a fresh coat of paint. The world famous ‘Yas’ blue colour that adorns the track was chosen as the shade most closely resembling the seas of the Arabian Gulf. Called pantone 321, the colour is unique to Yas Marina Circuit.
A team of six specialist contractors will lay a total of 8,550 litres of paint to ensure the track looks its best. The paint is water-based, which is suitable for Abu Dhabi’s dry conditions, and the team will apply 4,500 litres of ‘Yas blue’ paint, 720 litres of ivory, 1,440 litres of red and 1,440 litres of white paint.
The track’s distinctive white edging is the last part of the painting process. These lines must be painted four times, meaning the painting contractors will have to cover a distance of 26 kilometres, including pit lane lines, applying about 450 litres of white paint.
The huge landscaped areas that gives Yas Marina Circuit its natural feel are in the final stages of being spruced up with some TLC and a sprinkling of grass seed. A team of gardeners has been working constantly to lay 75 acres of landscaped grass, and plant a total of 715 palm trees and 150,000 flowers in preparation for the event.
Meanwhile, an army of squeegee-toting abseilers are tackling the Yas Viceroy’s world-renowned façade.
With everything in place to support the 60,000-capacity crowd it will be the turn of the F1 juggernaut to arrive. The eleven teams consist of a collective ensemble that could fill a small town. Hundreds of hotel rooms must be booked, hire cars sourced, locations found for driver motorhomes, and data links established to provide race engineers with telemetry data.
An operation months in the making will culminate in what it is sure to be an epic title-deciding season finale. After 20 rounds of the 2016 F1 season, the battle between team-mates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton will finally be decided at a Yas Marina Circuit looking its very best.