Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2023: Final preparations under way for F1 finale

An army of dedicated staff has been working 24 hours a day in the run up to the season's ultimate race, ready for those attending and the millions watching at home

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Preparations for the 2023 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are nearing completion, before the event kicks off in earnest on Thursday.

Despite the venue being in use all year round, teams have been out in force to get Yas Marina Circuit looking pristine and ready to welcome the tens of thousands who will descend on the island venue for the event.

To this end, a dedicated team of cleaning and maintenance specialists, painters, gardeners and technical experts have been sprucing up the 5.28km track, its grandstands, the fan zones and hospitality spaces, and landscaped areas.

Improvements include a new LED lighting system that will improve efficiency by more than a third and reduce electricity use by nearly a quarter.

The circuit’s near 90 acres of landscaped areas have been given an extra 2.5 acres of seasonal flowers, as well as more than 1,750 different kinds of foliage. These include 886 varieties of palm trees and 529 potted plants.

In the pit lane and paddocks, logistics specialists have been managing the arrival of everything required for the weekend’s activities.

The fact the track is surrounded by sea makes this challenge all the more onerous, as anyone who has had to oversee the shifting of large amounts of kit via a handful of entry and exit points will attest.

All this is being shifted around by 65 forklift trucks.

Ongoing throughout the weekend, safety experts will inspect every part of the track.

And when the racing teams arrive, they will be using 227 rooms with more than 3,000 pieces of furniture, fixtures and fittings.

Practice begins on Friday and marks the culmination of a 23-event season in motorsport’s biggest tournament.

The season is already in the bag for Red Bull's Max Verstappen, but commentators are predicting little let up when the cars finally start their engines on Sunday.

Updated: November 22, 2023, 2:56 AM