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Abu Dhabi to be a day/night race
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Abu Dhabi to be a day/night race
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Aug 2009   |  4:40 pm GMT  |  13 comments

Bernie Ecclestone announced today that the season finale at the new Yas Marina Island circuit will be F1′s first ever day/night race, starting at twilight and ending in the dark.

This seems to me like a really good idea and I must say that when I came away from Singapore last year I felt that this was what they should have done there.

The reason is that with a full night race, on TV you get no sense of the surrounding space. Singapore track was surrounded by water, for example, but you had no idea of that from the TV pictures.
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Starting the race in twilight allows you to show the buildings and surroundings really well and then focus in on the action under floodlights.

“Yas Marina Circuit has been built from the outset to host day and night-time activities,” said Richard Cregan, CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management. “Staging Formula 1’s first ever day/night race offers us the unique opportunity to demonstrate the circuit’s inbuilt flexibility and state-of-the-art facilities. It has always been our intention to showcase to the world this spectacular venue and this decision allows just that opportunity.”

The lights will be on from the start of the race. They will give out the equivalent amount of light as 130 premiership football pitches.

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13 Comments
  1. Mich says:

    As long as drivers’ visibility is not compromised…bring it on!

    I must admit that from the preview photos and Senna’s comments the circuit looks very promising. But enough to match the breathtaking finales in Brazil?

    And, will it be such a thrilling track, especially regarding overtaking chances?

  2. Snail says:

    You’ve got to hand it to Formula One Management, they really know how to demonstrate their green credentials – buy running a race at night time when there is no reason to do so for their main audience (which is always the reason given for night racing). Wonderful.

    I’m sure it will look great, but its pretty wasteful, even by F1 standards.

  3. ram says:

    I find it weird and offensive that start times are set up for europe to get a pleasant viewing time???????The race should benefit the host country,not lazy people in other parts of the world.

    1. Werewolf says:

      I suspect the pleasantness of the hour does not enter into it but the viewing figures for the broadcasters and sponsors so affected undoubtedly does.

      The bottom line, as I see it, is that F1′s core fanbase is European with other pockets in the Americas and Japan. Exhorbitantly expensive, far-flung races supported by rich governments, incurring vast travel costs and massive energy consumption and attracting small attendances do precious little for F1, in my opinion. And actually, I do resent getting up at some ungodly hour to watch what is a frequently inferior product (Suzuka being a notable exception, but then justified by the local fanbase anyway).

    2. sd says:

      The viewing times should benefit the audience…

  4. Werewolf says:

    I would still rather see good racing on a classic track than a procession at a new venue with cosmetic novelties. Hopefully, Yas Marina will tick all the boxes but I fear, whatever its qualities (or otherwise), another outlandishly expensive location light years from F1′s hub will only serve to heap yet more pressure onto beleaguered European circuits. Plus, the ever more dangerous (to F1) environmental lobby has just been handed another wonderful carbon footprint headline.

    While we bask in the glory of Spa, just think how bad Valencia will be next year with no refuelling to add position changes through clever strategy. Whilst I very much prefer on-track overtaking, at some venues one has to be grateful for anything!

    1. James says:

      There is a lot of concern that some races will be rather processional, and I reckon that we could see refueling back by 2011 or 2012. I hope so, because it adds another dimension to the race weekend. It’s another margin for error within the sport emphasising the need for team work and good communication is required.

      1. Simon Pearce says:

        Going off topic I know but I really hope you’re right about re-fuelling.

        Not looking forward to some rather dull racing next season :(

  5. Martin Collyer says:

    Surely we already have enough gimmicky races in unusual places where interest in F1 is negligible, after the initial curiosity has worn off.

  6. Ray.C. says:

    The sun is big, bright and free.
    I’m no greenie, but seriously, this is 1980′s stuff. It really shouldn’t make sense to anyone over 9yrs old.
    My biggest beef with night racing however, MotoGP/F1,is the lack of depth on TV and the inability to read the possible weather changes.(y’know that little flutter of excitement when dark clouds appear).
    Yas looks cool,but enough with the street circuits already. Gimme Spa, Silverstone and Suzuka ant day.
    I prefer F1 racing to F1 parades.

  7. Simon Pearce says:

    Looking forward to it! Only problem is my flight home leaves from Dubai at 7am the next morning so I’m going to be knackered.

    Would also be interested in the evening temperatures in Abu Dhabi in November! Would imagine it’s getting quite cool.

    1. fran says:

      I have my tickets for the Abu Dhabi GP and live in Dubai, evening temp would be in mid to high 20′s, humidity should be pretty low, overall pleasant temps…… good job your flight is at 7am, it will probably take you that long to get from the circuit back to Dubai – there is 1 road in and out!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Rhys Fry says:

    This is interesting, but I think there are too many gimmicks in F1.

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