UAE circuit boss elated with showdown

Date published: November 18 2016

With the Brazilian Grand Prix not settling things, Abu Dhabi officials are ecstatic to have the added drama.

After Lewis Hamilton won in Sao Paulo to keep the pressure on Nico Rosberg, there is everything to race for in the United Arab Emirates, and Al Tareq Al Ameri said it capped the season perfectly.

“The Championship is in the final stages and we were hoping the drivers would leave some work to do in Abu Dhabi, and that’s what they have done. Which is great,” said Al Ameri, who is the CEO of the circuit.

“For us, it’s less about who we want to win the championship and more about making sure the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix offers our fans the title decider," he said. "This year we have witnessed amazing on-track action and I am expecting nothing less next race weekend.”

He said that Hamilton's win in Brazil raised excitement levels for the decider.

“It’s always thrilling having the title decider come down to the last race of the season, it really makes it something to look forward to and I have no doubt it will be an end-of-season showdown to remember,” Al Ameri said.

The support races are also undecided going into next weekend.

“Not only will next week’s F1 come down to the wire, but we will also see the GP2 and GP3 titles being decided — a huge thrill for the tens of thousands of fans who will join us at Yas Marina Circuit on race weekend," he said.

"It’s one thing to experience all the sounds, sights and emotions of motorsport, it’s another to see not one, but three championship deciders being played out in front of your eyes."

The track boss said the points situation was a bonus, but not essential to the F1 experience.

“Ever since we hosted the first day-night Grand Prix in 2009, we have seen incredible scenes unfold at Yas Marina Circuit and I’m sure this year will be no different.”

“Primary for us is maintaining the right time of year in terms of weather and a pre-holiday window for international visitation, but when the drivers and teams come to the event battling for the championship, there’s extra excitement and also the media attention increases which is good for Abu Dhabi.”

Rosberg and Hamilton have nine wins each this year, but reliability issues have hampered Hamilton, leaving him 12 points behind his teammate, meaning he has to finish in the top three to move past Rosberg's 367.

Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo is third on 246, 109 points behind the Briton.