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2018 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX PRE-RACE BLOG

Let’s start with Wednesday evening when I popped out to the track and spotted an Etihad A380 and a 787 flying low over the track, rehearsing for their pre-race flyover on Sunday.

It was a great sight.

With Daniel Ricciardo leaving Red Bull after this race, he was popular in the paddock and today Red Bull had arranged for a film crew to document his day.  I caught up with him prepping for the Red Bull end of season group photo where he showed off his new helmet design.And then I took a selfie with the great man! What was I thinking?  I’ve never done one but the moment presented itself and here it is, proof.And shortly after I snapped with another Helmut.Robert Kubica was popular today too as he announced he will be driving for Williams in 2019. The amiable Polish driver was happy to talk to all and sundry about his return to F1. This man was in demand given he’s leaving F1 for Indy car and I liked his t-shirt.But the best dressed woman in the paddock today was Esteban Ocon’s girlfriend Elena Berri in this striking outfit.  So was it Gucci, Prada, Chanel?  No, Zara and for not much more than you’d pay for a couple of cocktails at a nightclub. There were two press conferences today and while Kimi was waiting for the first one to finish so he could take to the stage, I found him seated outside the press conference room chatting to his Press Officer Stefania and he was as relaxed as I’ve ever seen the man.The Italian TV presenters were doing their stuff in the paddock.  Here’s Federica Masolin making a funny shape with her mouth,    while Mara Sangiorgio was in a playful mood.On a different note, have a look at this guy’s video system, I’ve seen nothing like it in my lifetime.And I liked the look of this young fella’s racing gloves (or are they goal-keeping gloves), either way I thought it worth a shot.  Below we have two world champions, both actively engrossed in their devices as they headed to the media pen to field questions. And finally, Ferrari had all of  their staff file down pit lane and out onto the track mid-afternoon to pose for their group photo.  So there endeth my final pre-race blog for 2018.  Check back on Monday for my post-race blog and see Instagram for updates throughout the day and this site for my daily galleries.


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