The atmosphere at Yas Marina Circuit began to build in earnest on Friday morning ahead of the 2022 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix.
Drivers arrived at the circuit, greeting fans as they did so, while crowds moved in, jockeying for seats amid the tremendous wall of sound coming from the first cars to hit the track around the middle of the morning.
The team villas, set behind the pit lane, had become a hive of activity, with tannoy messages reverberating around the area, issuing instructions to crews.
There had been a lull around that zone on Thursday after the initial rush to get everything set up, but the intensity of the early part of the week was back with a vengeance right from the start of the day.
Just down the road from the team villas, the Paddock Club opened its doors to the first ticket holders of the weekend, giving those entering some of the best views of the track. The venue is made up of individual units, with each one offering not only food and beverages but access to seating above the home straight.
Friday is when the first Paddock Club pit lane walks happen as well and those eligible seemed keen for a close-up look at what was afoot in the busy garages.
As for the racing itself, the weekend’s action began with the F4 UAE and F2 practice sessions, with the first F1 action slotted in for 2pm.