Yas Marina Circuit to host final race of 2014 F1 season
Yas Marina Circuit CEO Richard Cregan is hoping Abu Dhabi’s switch from the third-last race in 2013 to anchor the 2014 Formula One calendar will mean they are now front-runners to host end-of-season testing.
The 2014 Formula One calendar, which was announced by the World Motor Sport Council in Paris on Wednesday, has been slashed by three grands prix due to problems surrounding venues in New Jersey, Mexico and South Korea.
Among the changes from 2013 include Abu Dhabi’s switch to the last grand prix on November 23.
Yas Marina last hosted the final race of the season in 2010, which saw Sebastian Vettel claim the first of his four world championships.
Cregan said: “Our priority was to get a race in November – because of the suitable temperature it’s a good time of the year – and we got that, but the added bonus in getting the final race means that we’ll be looking to host end-of-season testing now.
“The Formula One teams would be able to stay on in Abu Dhabi, which is their choice – they love to stay on and enjoy their time in Abu Dhabi. And they can do their testing here as well.
“The decision on who will host it next still has to be discussed and agreed with the teams and the FOM (Formula One Management) itself, but fingers crossed, and we’re definitely hoping to have it here.”
From an initial record-breaking schedule of 22 races when the provisional calendar was aired in late September, there will now only be 19 following official confirmation of the programme.
The news will come as a relief to the 11 teams and the likes of Red Bull team principal Christian Horner who described the prospect of 22 grands prix as “beyond the limit”.
In particular, the teams were threatened with an unprecedented triple-header of races at the end of May and into early June with Monaco, New Jersey and Canada all back-to-back.
The suspicion, however, was that due to ongoing financial issues the Grand Prix of America would again fall by the wayside, and so it has proven.
Mexico’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is taking longer than expected to complete while organisers in South Korea also face financial difficulties.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and the WMSC have also made a couple of minor tweaks from the provisional calendar. Japan and the new race in Russia have switched dates, with the latter now October 12 rather than October 5.
With Mexico departing, the United States and Brazilian Grands Prix are again back-to-back on November 2 and 9 respectively followed by Abu Dhabi.
2014 F1 CALENDAR
March 16: Australia (Melbourne)
March 30: Malaysia (Sepang)
April 6: Bahrain (Sakhir)
April 20: China (Shanghai)
May 11: Spain (Barcelona)
May 25: Monaco (Monte Carlo)
June 8: Canada (Montreal)
June 22: Austria (Red Bull Ring)
July 6: Great Britain (Silverstone)
July 20: Germany (Hockenheim)
July 27: Hungary (Budapest)
August 24: Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
September 7: Italy (Monza)
September 21: Singapore (Marina Bay)
October 5: Japan (Suzuka)
October 12: Russia (Sochi)
November 2: United States (Austin)
November 9: Brazil (Interlagos, Sao Paulo)
November 23: Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)