The GYS Media Team enjoyed access all areas at Yas Marina Circuit for the 2017 Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix. We caught up with some young UAE residents who were enjoying paddock life, and getting up close to the stars of F1.
Nine year old driving sensation Rashid Al Dhaheri explained that his favourite F1 driver is Fernando Alonso and that his tactics have inspired him to pursue his dream in driving. The rising star told GYS, "Alonso once gave me his hat at a race a few years ago, since then he has been my hero."
The McLaren Honda driver finished 9th in this year's race and remains within touching distance of joining the '100 club' in podium finishes - 97 in total although his last came back in 2014. Only three drivers have ever broken that barrier - Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton and Alain Prost. The Spaniard's struggles since McLaren and Honda rejoined forces are well documented - and underlined by a hat-trick of his own in Abu Dhabi. It represented his third straight points finish - the first time he has achieved that in the last three years.
Though just nine years old Al Dhaheri is no stranger to a steering wheel, and has travelled all over the world racing at various invitational events in the mini class division for 8 - 12 year old drivers. His latest achievements include two podium finishes at the highly competitive 2017 Italian Championship staged at the Circuito di Siena, near Florence. He continued, "Alonso is great at overtaking opponents, something I do regularly!!"