Captain Mohammed Ahmed Al Tamimi, reveals the behind-the-scenes preparation that goes into the title sponsor’s incredible race day flypast

Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE 11 December, 2020: One of the most popular elements of the FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX is the spectacular low-level flypast over the start line at Yas Marina Circuit just before the season-ending finale race begins.

Despite the challenges posed to F1® this year, the 2020 edition will be no different as the title sponsor Etihad Airways will again be displaying its Boeing 787 Dreamliner to the thousands of staff working within the biosphere at the track and the millions of people watching around the world a few minutes before lights out on the grid.

Captain Mohammed Ahmed Al Tamimi, 38, will be the pilot in command of the Etihad Airways fly-by. He reveals that competition to be selected as the flight deck leader is very tough. “There are several requirements and criteria that are a must for you to take part in this amazing event,” he said. “For example, training, seniority, minimum flying hours, and experience. I’m very proud to have had this opportunity.”

Having flown for the UAE’s national flag carrier for 15 years, Captain Al Tamimi says that once he was selected to represent Etihad Airways, they started work on preparing for the event three months in advance, and practised the stunt for almost two months.

“Preparation starts early and takes a lot of effort and teamwork. The planning involves many different stakeholders, including the GCAA, air traffic control, the training department, the flight operations division and other concerned teams.

“Training consists of three rehearsals in the simulators in Etihad’s Training Academy, and one rehearsal flight. I have also previously taken part in the Formula 1 flypast experience,” he explained.

All that hard work will pay off when Captain Al Tamimi and his crew zoom over the Circuit’s start line this Sunday at 220 knots indicated airspeed, and 600 feet above the ground, with the total elapsed flight time taking almost 1 hour and 15 minutes.

For any young people wishing to follow in his flying footsteps, he offers some simple advice: the most important aspect of a career in aviation is to really love the job. “I enjoy every moment flying – I feel like I have achieved my dream.

“I love flying for the national carrier Etihad, as it allows me to explore different places around the world and experience different lifestyles, languages, cultures, religions and history while also representing my country and positively reflecting the UAE’s image globally.”

For more information on the #AbuDhabiGP, please visit 



Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM), with its head office at Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, has created unique, world class experiences across Abu Dhabi since 2009.

ADMM have promoted and delivered globally significant events, the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Grand Prix, alongside over 400 events a year across motorsports, health and fitness, entertainment and major corporate conferences. The company also delivers a significant programme of motorsport retail experiences for business and consumer audiences at Yas Marina Circuit across the year. This combined experience means that ADMM has a region-leading team with expertise in event marketing, communications, promotions and project management.

Such talent firmly positions ADMM as a leader in sports management. The company is now seeking to diversify into activities and strategic ventures beyond Yas Marina Circuit in order to build towards a broader long-term vision aligned with its partners and stakeholders in Abu Dhabi.


Yas Marina Circuit is the United Arab Emirates’ most exciting sporting and entertainment multi-purpose venue.  Located on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, the circuit is home to the annual FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX and much more.  In addition to the extensive year-round program of professional and grassroots motorsport events and experiences including Drag and Yas Track Nights, the circuit has emerged as a thriving hub for entertainment and community events in the UAE. As the region’s most technologically advanced facility, the circuit is also a leading MICE venue, regularly hosting a diverse range of corporate meetings, conferences and events.  Whether you want to experience the thrill of karting at our Kartzone, driving an Aston Martin GT4 at over 200km/hour on an F1 circuit, work towards your racing license at the Yas Racing School, get fit at TrainYas, participate in one of our many sporting events, or simply catch up with friends at Yas Central, Yas Marina Circuit truly is The Meeting Place of Champions.

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