ABU DHABI // Richard Cregan welcomed the news that Yas Marina Circuit will host the final round of the Formula One world championship next season, the first time it has done so since 2010.
The FIA, which is F1’s ruling body, published the 2014 calendar on Wednesday. It consists of 19 races, with the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix set for November 23 to conclude the year’s action.
Abu Dhabi was originally third-to-last on 2013’s provisional itinerary, behind events in the United States and Brazil, but those races instead will take place ahead of Abu Dhabi on back-to-back weekends on November 2 and 9.
Cregan, the chief executive at Yas Marina, said: “It is very good news and it is something that we have pushed hard for.”
One potential benefit of moving Yas Marina to the last week of the season is the venue can host post-season test sessions immediately after the race, in almost certainly good weather, as teams begin work on their 2015 cars.
The first two stagings of the grand prix in 2009 and 2010 saw it serve as the season finale, before it became the penultimate race in 2011 and the third-last event the past two seasons.
The 2010 race was the only time in F1 history that four drivers arrived at the final race with a chance of winning the title, with Sebastian Vettel triumphing.
“It [November] is a great time of the year in the UAE, as you have lots of people visiting the country from across the world,” Cregan said, “and the fact we have the final race of the year only adds to that.”
Vettel won the world title this season, his fourth in a row, with three races to spare, but Cregan is confident that will not be the case next year and that the season points championship will still be at stake when it comes to Abu Dhabi.
“I think next year will be very different,” he said. “There are a lot of new regulations coming in, which I think will shake things up, so I do not think Sebastian will be having things his own way and it will be a lot closer.”
The change of date and place on the calendar for Abu Dhabi is among many made by the FIA, with the races in New Jersey, Mexico and South Korea being removed from the originally planned 22 that had been published by FIA in September.
New Jersey’s Grand Prix of the Americas, with New York’s skyscraper skyline as a backdrop, was due for a debut next year, but was postponed due to financial issues that continue to plague the race.
Mexico would have made its return in November after a 22-year absence, but there have been doubts over the readiness of the Mexico City track.
The poorly attended Korean race has sustained heavy financial losses and subsequently lost its place after four seasons.
India has also been axed, though race promoters are hope to return in 2015, while Austria is back after a decade away from the sport. Russia also hosts a race for the first time, in next year’s Winter Olympic city, Sochi.
Formula One 2014 calendar
March 16 Australia
March 30 Malaysia
April 6 Bahrain
April 20 China
May 11 Spain
May 25 Monaco
June 8 Canada
June 22 Austria
July 6 Great Britain
July 20 Germany
July 27 Hungary
August 24 Belgium
September 7 Italy
September 21 Singapore
October 5 Japan
October 12 Russia
November 2 United States
November 9 Brazil
November 23 Abu Dhabi