We left behind the cold dark evenings of home to jump on a plane and land just over six hours later under the beautiful blue skies and sunshine of Dubai.
Our group had a choice of hotels to stay at to suit their budget. In Dubai it was either the 4* Bonnington Towers or the 2* Ibis Hotel. But, if you wanted to be a little closer to the circuit there was the option to make the gorgeous 5* Le Meridian Hotel in Abu Dhabi your hotel of choice.
Our first evening provided a chance to meet some of our fellow travellers over a couple of welcome drinks, share stories and discuss our thoughts about the race ahead.
Thursday was a free day to explore the wonders that Dubai and Abu Dhabi have to offer. Some of us went along to experience the Burj Khalifa which holds the record of being the world’s tallest skyscraper at 830 metres high, while others decided the water park was the place to be on a sunny day in November.
There was also time for a little retail therapy before it was time to start getting ready for Saturday’s qualifying.
It was Abu Dhabi’s seventh Grand Prix since starting in 2009. It was business as usual in qualifying with Nico Rosberg pipping Lewis Hamilton in the closing moments to claim his 6th pole position in a row.
After qualifying, some of our group headed back to their respective hotels for a leisurely evening whilst the majority stayed on at the circuit to see Florence and the Machine crank up the noise with a superbly entertaining concert.
Fortunately with the Grand Prix not starting until 5pm, there was no need to get up too early on race day. After a leisurely breakfast we all assembled for a late morning departure to the race circuit. Once again the parking was well organised and the shuttle buses stood by to whisk us off to our appropriate entrance gates.
A sold-out 60000 crowd was on hand to watch Rosberg take command from the start. Only a couple of tyre changes briefly allowed Hamilton to lead, but it wasn’t for long, and the German cruised home to win his third consecutive race.
The iconic red Ferrari’s of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel claimed third and fourth places respectively.
With Britain’s Lewis Hamilton again crowned as world champion the season drew to an end and the race’s chequered flag was the signal for the start of a stunning firework display.
Thoughts are already turning towards 2016 and to wonder whether Hamilton can claim a hat-trick of world titles.
With a wonderful array of races around the world there were plenty of discussions amongst our group as they started to ponder about where they might like to go next. Until the next time!