Abu Dhabi confirms 5pm race start

Abu Dhabi has confirmed that its race will start at 5pm this year - as it hailed what will be the first day-night grand prix

Abu Dhabi confirms 5pm race start

As AUTOSPORT reported earlier today, Formula 1 chiefs had informed television broadcasters at the Belgian Grand Prix that the first event on the Yas Marina circuit would start at 5pm - two hours later than originally scheduled.

With sunset at 5.43pm on race day, it means the final race of the season will start at dusk and end under floodlights at night.

The Abu Dhabi circuit's CEO Richard Cregan said: "Yas Marina Circuit has been built from the outset to host day and night-time activities.

"Staging Formula 1's first ever day/night race offers us the unique opportunity to demonstrate the circuit's inbuilt flexibility and state-of-the-art facilities. It has always been our intention to showcase to the world this spectacular venue and this decision allows just that opportunity.

"It is the best of both worlds, spectators and television viewers will see the stunning architecture of the world's newest Formula 1 circuit during the afternoon sunlight and then experience what it is like under floodlights. We hope that everyone will be impressed by what they experience and see."

Abu Dhabi has said that the floodlights used to illuminate the circuit will be switched on from the start of the event to ensure there is a seamless transition from daylight to darkness.

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