Today (15/11/14) was a day for sightseeing, bonding and progress.
We began the day with a full breakfast at the Radisson Galaxy Room with all the other F1 teams. We found it to be a great place to have breakfast each morning, allowing us to mingle with the other teams. Later during the day we were treated to a presentation by Andrew Denford and other engineering professionals. They told us all about the incredible technicalities of a Formula 1 race, as well as the surprising similarities between Formula 1 and F1 in Schools. It was an intriguing presentation, and one which did not go without a massive ‘happy birthday’ to one of the engineers.
Today was also the day for the ‘Team Networking Lunch’. As lunch was served, teams were encouraged to exchange gifts, flyers, business cards and other promotional items with other teams in the competition. It was the best opportunity yet to get to know the people from all the nations that we are competing against. In a competition like F1 in Schools, it is important to be friendly with, and be knowledgeable of our competition. Yes, one of the reasons we are here is to compete for awards, but the more valuable lessons to be learned are all about the experience and meeting new people. So, as with almost every other competitor, we are all for supporting and being friendly with everyone else in the competition, and this Networking Lunch was very important for this.
In the afternoon, all the teams were taken to the ‘Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque’ for an exclusive tour. The mosque was an incredible sight. It had perfectly white tall pillars and domes, ‘garnished’ with golden accents. Upon entry, we were reminded that all women must have covered heads, arms and legs, and the men must have covered legs and sleeved tops, all out of respect for the Islamic traditions.
We were led on a brief tour of the corridors and the incredible prayer hall, which features the world’s largest hand-stitched carpet, that can accommodate up to 8,000 people for prayer. It was interesting to learn that this prayer hall is only for men, and women in fact pray in a private room.
So with that, we concluded our tour, but not without a lovely ‘Team Australia’ photo in front of the 3rd largest mosque in the world:
We headed back to the Radisson, and headed straight to the Mezzanine to find out whether or not our car had breached any critical regulations. To our relief, our car was fine, and no critical regulations had been broken!
In the later evening, we all headed down to the Yas Marina for a Lebanese dinner. As with all our dinners and lunches, it was one filled with deep conversations and excellent banter.
Tomorrow sees Day 1 of the actual competition in Ferrari World. We have an early start, beginning with the setup of our booth, and judging in the evening.
Until tomorrow, from Abu Dhabi!