Pushing the Limits

November 11, 2010 by  


With the Formula One championship likely to go down to the wire, all eyes are on the finale at Yas Marina

By M. Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter

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Abu Dhabi : It’s hard to believe that it is time for yet another Formula 1 spectacle which starts under bright sunlight, finishes in twilight and then is followed by a starry party through the night. Hoardings all over the UAE ask, ‘Where will you be on November 14, 2010?’ — and that precisely is the day when, once again Yas Island will come alive as champion drivers battle it out for the season-ending race of the Formula 1 championship.

The Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is one of the biggest international sporting events in the UAE. The inaugural edition wowed the motorsport fraternity and the sporting world with one of the most unique championship races ever.

Every driver, who stayed at the Yas Marina Hotel, had a birds-eye view of the challenging circuit from their bedrooms, and later became part of history as the first-ever day-night race exceeded all expectations.

Skepticism

The event’s success was savored that much more as mere months before last November’s event, many in the motorsport world were sceptical about Abu Dhabi being ready for the event.

But for an emirate, which has in just a handful of years emerged as a major sporting destination with the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the Capitala Tennis Championship which attracts six of the world’s top ten players, the Fifa Club World Cup, the Red Bull Air Race and the Formula One championship, the challenge was smoothly overcome.

Abu Dhabi’s success was reflected in the two awards the event claimed at the FIA gala a month later. The Race Promoters’ Trophy was picked up by Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the state-of-the-art Yas Marina circuit in a stunning setting and for organizing the first-ever twilight race.

The twilight concept and the spectacular setting of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix also proved popular with television viewers across the world and helped Abu Dhabi scoop the Television Trophy.

While accolades poured in from all sections of the motor racing and sporting world, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, the first champion of the first-ever day-night race said, “Really enjoyable race. It is a challenging circuit. Starting at day, finishing at night is special. We have a dark tear-off and the moment you rip it off it is like someone has switched on the light, so it is quite unique. I think it cannot be much better.”

Topping last year

But Abu Dhabi will now aim to make the November 14, 2010 event better than the first. And with the drivers’ championship likely to go to the wire, the Yas Marina Circuit looks set to add another glorious chapter to the Formula 1 story.

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