Hamilton's possible title win will not make Abu Dhabi GP any less exciting, say organisers
Yas Marina Circuit chief executive points out early wrap-up of championship has done little to dull race in past seasons
Tareq Al Ameri, Yas Marina Circuit's chief executive, is optimistic the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will not lose any of its gloss even if Lewis Hamilton wins the world championship before the race gets underway next month.
Hamilton is 59 points ahead of his nearest rival - Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel - in the Formula One driver's title race, and there is a strong possibility the Mercedes-GP racer will arrive in the capital for the November 24-26 event already crowned champion.
The Briton can clinch the fourth title of his career on October 22 if he wins the United States Grand Prix and Vettel is no better than sixth, or if he is second and Vettel finishes outside the top eight. And even if Hamilton fails to seal it in Austin, he will have opportunities to do so in Mexico and Brazil.
However, Al Ameri says the Abu Dhabi race organisers are used to such an eventuality every year, given it is held towards the end of the season.
“We have seen it before and I don’t think it took anything away from the event,” he said at the circuit on Tuesday. “People still came in, enjoyed themselves, and watched their favourite drivers compete without any restraints.
"We have seen it both, when the championship title was decided here and otherwise and I think both are really good.”
If the championship is indeed decided come November, other narratives will dominate the run up to the Abu Dhabi GP. For one, Hamilton and Vettel will likely be determined to end the season on a high. They will both also be gunning for a record fourth victory at Yas Marina Circuit - they share the record of three wins apiece.
Al Ameri added they are happy with the position of the race in the calendar.
“We are in constant discussions with F1 management on such issues and so far, both parties feel we are going on the right direction," he said. “This is Formula One. There is always something happening. It keeps you on the edge of your seat."
Yas Marina Circuit unveiled its busiest events calendar to date, featuring 420 events and activities over the next 12 months.
Some of the popular ones include the FIA-accredited F4 UAE Championship, the TRD 86 Cup, the six-round Yas Racing Series, the Middle East Radical Cup, Formula Gulf Academy, NGK Racing Series, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East and UAE Time Attack.
Yas KartZone is all set to reopen with a fleet of 32 new karts, a revamped track, and upgraded briefing and changing rooms.
The Mena Games, for athletes with special needs, is a new addition, while the Abu Dhabi Cycling Tour will return in February and the ITU World Triathlon in March.
Updated: October 10, 2017 06:41 PM