F1 fans Emma and Michael Thompson land the Golden Ticket

L-R: Emma Thompson, Lamiya Boumlaki, Yas Marina Circuit Marketing Manager and Michael Thompson

Lucky pair win all-expenses paid trip to F1’s most glamourous fixture


Formula One fans Emma and Michael Thompson from Doncaster struck gold at the British Grand Prix when they picked up a ‘Golden Ticket’ for November’s F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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The ticket was hidden in one of 20,000 Abu Dhabi gift bags distributed to race-going campers at Whittlebury Park campsite, which has been renamed the Abu Dhabi Fan Zone for the Silverstone event.


The ‘Golden’ pair scooped two return flights to Abu Dhabi, four nights’ in a luxury hotel and tickets to the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, courtesy of Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and Yas Marina Circuit.


The tickets include entry to the Grand Prix – which runs from 1-3 November and four headline after-race concerts held on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi’s entertainment destination, which culminate with an event finale by British synth-pop legends Depeche Mode.


The couple, who run a private day nursery in Doncaster, celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary next month and said the trip will be the honeymoon they never had.


“We didn’t have a honeymoon and we haven’t been away in over two years, so we were thinking of doing something special for our tenth anniversary this year,” said Michael.


“This will definitely be something special! We’ve never been to the Middle East, but we’ve thought about visiting Abu Dhabi and it looks fantastic.”


A stunned Emma said she just couldn’t believe their luck.


“The news is still sinking in,” she said. “We never win anything! We read about the golden ticket on the Whittlebury Park Facebook page and I never thought for one second we would win.”


The pair have two children, aged six and eight, and Emma already has a babysitter lined up:


“The first person I called was my dad, and he said ‘looks like we’re having the kids, then!’”


The prize was part of a promotional drive at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix, to raise awareness of the Abu Dhabi fixture. Now in its fifth year, the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the emirate’s most high profile event, attended by sporting, cinema and entertainment celebrities from around the world.


Nabeel Al Zarouni, TCA Abu Dhabi’s UK Country Manager, said: “Congratulations to Emma and Michael! We can’t wait to welcome them to Abu Dhabi in November. I’m sure they will have a fantastic time at the Grand Prix, and hopefully they’ll find some time to explore everything else the emirate has to offer.


“Emma and Michael can expect an action-packed stay – the whole of Abu Dhabi comes alive for the Grand Prix and there’s loads of associated activities running at the same time. Really there’s just so much more to F1 in Abu Dhabi.”

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