x

Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 February 2019

Yas Marina chief Richard Cregan expects 'quality' weekend for 2013 Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix

The Yas Marina Circuit chief executive believes the best is yet to come with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as plans for the fifth staging of the Formula One race, in November.
Richard Cregan, the Yas Marina Circuit chief executive, says the Abu Dhabi Grabnd Prix has overachieved during its four years on the F1 calendar. Christopher Pike / The National
Richard Cregan, the Yas Marina Circuit chief executive, says the Abu Dhabi Grabnd Prix has overachieved during its four years on the F1 calendar. Christopher Pike / The National
ABU DHABI // Richard Cregan believes the best is yet to come with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as plans for the fifth staging of the Formula One race, in November, were announced yesterday.

Last year's race, won by Kimi Raikkonen, had plenty of drama, including a number of crashes and spins, as well as the world champion Sebastian Vettel coming through from the back of the grid to finish third. However, the chief executive at Yas Marina Circuit thinks the bar will go even higher this year when the cars line up on the grid for the November 3 race.

"If you see how the season has started we'll probably be OK on that," Cregan said, forecasting a competitive race. "But the most important thing is for our customers and fans to come here and enjoy the weekend. That's the key."

Plans for the fifth anniversary include general-admission tickets being allocated for the first time, and a return to having four concerts over the weekend.

Cregan is understandably proud of the progress of the race over the last four seasons.

"Like everything Abu Dhabi does, it's quality and very much a case of under-promising and over-delivering, and we've done that," he said.

"What has to be understood is what has been achieved in a very short time. We're talking five years in the history of our grand prix, which is fantastic.

"It feels like five days, effectively, it's gone so quickly. But we've always set out to have the best possible event for our customers. We've always promised to add something every year and we've always done that and delivered."

Cregan is proud of how quickly the track, with its twilight time racing, has established itself on the F1 calendar.

"If you look at some of the great grands prix, in Monaco and a lot of the other ones which have been around for 20-25 years, I think what has been achieved in those five years by everyone involved here has been fantastic," he said.

"There's the location - it's Abu Dhabi, it's the time of the year, a day-night race and everything comes together, so it's exciting and that's why everybody loves to come to here."

The success of last year's race means no major amendments are expected to the track this year "apart from the normal track inspections" done by the Federation Internationale de l'Autombile," according to Cregan.

One change is in the support race schedule, with the Australian V8s Supercars, which were the sole support series in 2012, not returning.

Instead racegoers will see the GP2 series, which supported F1 at Yas Marina previously, before being not part of last year's schedule.

The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup also returns after a one-year hiatus, while the single-seater GP3 series will race at Yas Marina for the first time in November.

"We have done deals with GP2, GP3 and Porsche, so it's going to be a very exciting support calendar," Cregan said.

"We discussed it with everybody involved and all the stakeholders, but our target was more about the customer and basically what the customer can expect to see.

"From a technical perspective, it will help in terms of the event having GP2 and GP3 out there as it will probably help them in terms of rubbering in the track.

"But the excitement of tires at the moment is on everybody's mind."

 

osamiuddin@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Updated: March 24, 2013 04:00 AM

SHARE

SHARE

Editors Picks