Yas Island sneak preview

Time Out takes a look around Abu Dhabi’s F1 circuit

It's official. Time Out currently holds the record for the fastest time around Abu Dhabi's new multi-million dirham Formula 1 racing track. At 27 minutes. In a mini bus.

Apparently, an average lap time in an F1 car should be 1 minute 40 seconds, but, as no racing motor has officially been round yet, we now hold the title.

During our sneak preview tour, we were shuttled around the rather bendy track in a small van this morning. While it seems there's a worrying amount of work left to be done (and October 29, race day, is really not very far away now), we could still visualise the car paradise Yas Island shall soon become. Especially impressive is the slug-shaped glass-covered Yas Hotel, under which our mini bus plunged as the track delved directly underneath. Although visitors will be able to watch the cars rushing past from a café and certain rooms within, we couldn't make out anything from the road (we suppose the 500 hotel guests will want their privacy). And this wasn't the track's only tunnel. Apparently it boasts the first ever underground pit lane. Exciting stuff for racing nuts, no doubt.

As we cruised round we were assaulted with a series of record-breaking facts. The track offers the longest straight on the F1 circuit of 1.2km, where speeds can hit 317kph. By the side, there’s world’s biggest indoor theme park, Ferrari World, set to open next year. Also coming is the region’s biggest waterpark. Then there’s the Links Golf Course, nine holes of which are ready with an opening ceremony coming soon. Oh - and Yas Island, which is one-third of the size of Abu Dhabi itself, will be fully completed by 2019, with new attractions opening there each year. Exhausting. Just imagine trying to tell us all that in a minute and 40 seconds.

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