Formula One team bosses have backed Abu Dhabi to put on a world-class show for their grand prix debut next season. The Yas Island circuit will stage the final race of the 2009 calendar on November 15. And as the world eagerly waits to see what is on offer with the final details still under wraps, the leading teams are expecting nothing but thrills. The Honda chief Ross Brawn, who masterminded Michael Schumacher's success at Ferrari, believed the new wave of top-class circuits like Abu Dhabi will mean others will have to raise their game.
"I think several of the new circuits have raised the standards in terms of facilities, in terms of the quality of the circuit," he said. Now based in the United Kingdom after making his name in Italy, the British Grand Prix is a key date in Brawn's calendar. He believed it is vital that Donington Park - which will replace Silverstone as host of the British Grand Prix from 2010 - adopts the same approach as new circuits - where millions of dollars have been lavished on facilities for spectators.
"The most important thing was that we maintained the British Grand Prix because we are under huge competition from circuits like Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, and other countries that want a grand prix," he added. "It's still nice to have a character to a circuit, to have a spirit about a circuit, and of course Silverstone has a lot of history, a lot of spirit. "I think Donington has a lot of racing heritage too. The proposal there is to build a facility or expand the facility in Donington which will be the match of anything else in the world, and that's something which for us will be great."
Brawn's views were echoed by Christian Horner, the team principal of Red Bull Racing. "It is a great time of the year and it is always a carnival atmosphere for the last race," he said. "There is a lot of interest and support from the Middle East. I don't think the heat will be a factor and I think the event will be great and provide a fitting finale. "I was there for the parade when they announced the Grand Prix. It is a tremendous place and, from what I hear, it will be a fantastic circuit at Yas Island."