Abu Dhabi seeking to retain season finale spot

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit
© XPB 

Promoters for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix say that they want to stay on the Formula 1 calendar for many years to come.

They're also keen to hold onto the prestige of hosting the final race of the season at the purpose-built Yas Marina circuit.

“I think we are confident we have a good event here," CEO Al Tariq Al Ameri said this week. "I think it is win-win for everyone and I think it will remain the same until something changes."

With Lewis Hamilton having moved into a commanding 59 point lead in the drivers championship after Suzuka, it looks increasingly unlikely that the race will prove to be a title decided this season.

However, Al Ameri insisted that this wasn't a particular concern for the organisers.

“We have seen it before and I don’t think it took anything away from the event,” he told Gulf News.

“People still came, enjoyed themselves, and watched their favourite drivers compete without any restraints. It has the same feel to it and people enjoyed the finale.

"We have seen it both when the championship title was decided here and otherwise," he added. "And I think both are really good."

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was first held in 2009. It was the first race on the Formula 1 schedule to start in daylight and finish under floodlights after dark.

Jenson Button had already clinched that year's title by the time F1 reached Yas Marina. The first race was won by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, and he and Lewis Hamilton have both won three races in total at Abu Dhabi.

The first two Abu Dhabi Grands Prix both served as season finales. However the venue lost that coveted spot on the schedule from 2011 to 2013, before regaining it again in the 2014 season.

Holding the final race of the year at Yas Marina also allows the FIA to schedule post-season testing at the circuit immediately afterwards.

"We are happy to keep the last race slot," Al Ameri said. "And we are also in discussion with the Liberty group.

"So far, both of us think this is the right thing to do."

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