Abu Dhabi has the right formula for hosting global sporting events in the pandemic…

It (almost) goes without saying that the experience of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was a little different on the ground this year.

Though the stands of Yas Marina Circuit still shook to the sounds of the four-stroke V6 engines thundering around the track, the audience to witness it all was a fraction of what it would ordinarily be.

It’s been no ordinary year though, and so it was a fitting tribute that the local heroes that led the charge against the global pandemic made up the handful of non-race team spectators.


Lewis Hamilton was unable to end his record-equalling, Championship-winning season with a victory in the capital, that crown went to Max Verstappen. Though a worthy win for young Verstappen, it takes no shine off Hamilton (who finished third), the British driver’s achievements over the past 13 years place him in a two-car race for a claim on the title of F1 GOAT.

The fact that he was able to make a podium place whilst battling the after-effects of Covid-19, can only support that claim.

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There were other reasons to swoon, Abu Dhabi loves a world platform to flex its considerable celebratory muscle.

Like the mesmeric Etihad fly-past, a piece of patriotic pageantry finessed by the Etihad Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Al Forsan aerobatic team.

Terry Daly, Executive Director Guest Experience at Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Since its inception in 2009, Etihad has been a proud title partner of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. One of the highlights of the race is the flypast by the Etihad Airways Dreamliner and the Al Forsan aerobatic team which is watched by millions of viewers around the world.”

Congratulations to all those that took part, to the team that made it all possible amidst a global health crisis, and to those frontline workers that put the needs of others before themselves, so we can all enjoy a life, a little more ordinary.

Images: Etihad