Abu Dhabi promises 'unique' event

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix organisers have promised to deliver something 'unique' to Formula One with their ambitious new plans for next year's season finale, despite opting against holding a night race

Abu Dhabi promises 'unique' event

A totally revamped design for the Yas Marina Circuit was unveiled to grand prix teams in the paddock in Shanghai on Friday morning, with Philippe Gurdjian, the CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, claiming the event will set new standards for F1 facilities.

The facility promises a harbourside track, a hotel situated over the circuit, and a run off area that extends underneath one of the fully covered grandstands.

Speaking about whether he feels the event can raise the bar for events even further after the tremendous success of the Singapore Grand Prix, Gurdjian told autosport.com: "I suppose we will have more important things than Singapore. This race is going to be a huge one. On the track side it is something - the tower, the hotel, the solar panels. There are many, many ideas. If you have to write about it, I suppose you will not have enough pages!"

Abu Dhabi bosses did consider whether or not to run the event at night, but have decided against it for the short term - even though they will make the venue floodlit.

When asked about whether the event will run at night, Gurdjian said: "First of all, you know that Mr. (Bernie) Ecclestone has said that only the Singapore Grand Prix will be at night. But I am working to light the race track for different reasons, because we will hold many events at night.

"And I will manage many other races at night. For 2009 we do not plan to hold a night race, but I have another idea. You will know very soon what it is...It's on the timing of the event. We can make something special."

Gurdjian feels that a night race will detract from the efforts he has made to turn the track into a spectacular facility.

"On my side, the problem is that if you want to light it very well you have to spend a lot of money for all the surroundings and all the other parts," he explained. "We have spent a lot of time and will spend a lot of time to make something very unique.

"I want to show to the world the spirit of this place - and because this place it is so special it is important we show it to the world."

The 5.55km long Yas Marina track is now a permanent facility, with the original idea for it to be a part street circuit having now been abandoned. As well as the unique hotel, the circuit will feature two pit buildings, a drag strip, a karting track, grandstands and a Marina area that has a yacht club.

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Q & A with Abu Dhabi's Philippe Gurdjian

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