By Gavin Gibbon
Preparation includes transporting 750 tonnes of F1 gear, applying 8,550 litres of paint to the track and serving 42,000 meals
Yas Marina Circuit staff and contractors have been working to carefully prepared and planned schedules to make sure Yas Marina Circuit is ready for the nail-biting drama of Sunday's 2014 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Since the conclusion of the Brazilian Grand Prix on November 9, six charter flights, each carrying 90 tonnes of gear, have airlifted all the Formula One team equipment to Abu Dhabi.
An astonishing 140 sea freight containers will also have landed at Khalifa Port by the weekend, bringing the remaining team kit for the Formula 1, GP2 and GP3 races.
More than 400 logistics contractors, using 60 forklift trucks at Yas Marina Circuit alone, have coordinated this huge operation - a combined air and sea freight totalling 750 tonnes.
This year's race weekend will see the largest crowds attending in the circuit's history, and feeding 60,000 hungry mouths each day in the public and corporate hospitality areas is no small task.
The circuit will employ 1,924 catering staff, serving around 29,670 meals in the corporate hospitality suites and grandstand (not including the paddock), in addition to 12,250 staff meals for Yas Marina Circuit employees across the weekend.
Guests will enjoy more food and drink options than in previous years, with 56 outlets - a mix of mobile kitchens, concessions and bars - and two new clubs, as well as the new after-party venue, North Star.
Maintenance of the circuit has been in progress for months. A team of 59 gardeners has been working constantly to lay 75 acres of grass, and plant a total of 715 palm trees and 150,000 flowers in preparation for the event.
Painting the track is one of the final maintenance jobs, and this painstaking work is carried out by six specialist contractors experienced in painting race circuits around the world. They will apply a staggering 8,550 litres of specially commissioned paints to the circuit, including pantone 321, a blue colour which is actually unique to Yas Marina Circuit.
Chosen as the colour most closely resembling the seas of the Arabian Gulf, the paint is water-based, which is suitable for Abu Dhabi's dry conditions.
To achieve the final finish in line with the extremely high standards required, the contractors will use 4,500 litres of 'Yas blue' paint, 720 litres of ivory, 1,440 litres of red and 1,440 litres of white paint.
The track's distinctive white edging is the last part of the painting process. These lines must be painted four times, meaning the painting contractors will have to cover a distance of 26km, including pit lane lines, applying about 450 litres of white paint.