Abu Dhabi wins F1 contract extension
ABU DHABI // The Formula 1 race is to stay in Abu Dhabi past 2016 due to a multi-year contract extension announced on Thursday.
Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management’s agreement with Formula 1 World Championship Limited had been due to expire after the 2016 race.
The announcement reflects both parties ambition to “lock in” the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit “for future years at an early opportunity”, the Abu Dhabi company said.
“This race and the Yas Marina Circuit has introduced Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates to tens of millions of visitors and TV viewers from around the world,” said Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management.
“We remain committed to continually delivering a better experience for the Formula 1 family and ticket holders.”
The weekend of the event welcomes more than 125,000 local and international spectators to the capital and has sold out ever year since the 2009 inaugural race, Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management said.
Nearly half of all spectators are overseas visitors to the UAE and attendees represent more than 120 nationalities, according to the company.
For this years race, Yas Marina Circuit increased its capacity by 20 per cent to 60,000.
“Abu Dhabi has played an important part in pioneering the modern era of Formula 1 racing,” said Bernie Ecclestone, chief executive of the Formula 1 group.
“I said when the Yas Marina Circuit opened that it may one day be matched, but it will never be bettered. The island has continued to transform each year.”
The race weekend in Abu Dhabi involves the largest entertainment programme by any Formula 1 host city, the Abu Dhabi company says.
The Formula 1 motor race started in 1950. More than 450 million TV viewers tuned into last year’s race.
The event runs in Abu Dhabi from November 21 to 23.
Updated: November 20, 2014 04:00 AM