Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix confirmed for December 13
Bahrain to host two races as Turkey returns; Chinese GP axed from 2020 F1 calendar
World-class motorsport action will return to the UAE when Yas Marina Circuit hosts the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prixon Sunday 13 December, bringing the curtain down on the 2020 season.
The 12th installment of the event will take place without spectators due to the continued global situation with Covid-19, and will wrap up a highly anticipated and exciting season, with potentially plenty at stake in terms of both driver and constructor standings.
Formula One announced on Tuesday the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix and the return of Turkey on a 17-race 2020 calendar that has been revised and shortened due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Formula One said in a statement that Bahrain's Sakhir circuit would host two races in late November. Thirteen other races had already been announced.
Some will be open to a limited number of fans, including hospitality, it added. The six races held so far have been behind closed doors.
Yas Island will transform into an 'F1 biosphere', creating one of the largest 'safe zones' in the region with access restricted to essential F1 staff, drivers and teams. With significant stakeholder collaboration and planning across UAE government entities and in alignment with F1 management, the precautionary health measures in place during the F1 weekend on Yas Island prioritise the wellbeing of the F1 community while maintaining the competitive integrity of the final race of the season.
This year's race weekend will run until December 13, with the sport's biggest stars, including Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas expected to take part. Lewis Hamilton will be aiming for a third consecutive Abu Dhabi triumph, and sixth in total, having surged to victory at the two most recent races, while his Mercedes team have been even more dominant, finishing top of the constructor standings for the past six years in a row.
Saif Al Noaimi, Acting CEO, Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management (ADMM), said to this year's weekend: "We are grateful for the commitment of F1 management, the teams and our Abu Dhabi partners whose innovative collaboration during these unprecedented times allows us to host a safe and competitive final race of the season. Special thanks also go to our committed sponsors ADNOC and Etihad Airways, who continue to support this important sporting spectacle on Yas Island."
Chase Carey, CEO of the Formula One Group added: "We are delighted that we will be upholding our traditional end of season race with our valued and special partners at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. While this season has been challenging for everyone, we can think of no better place to bring the 2020 season to an end and look forward to completing our seventeen-race calendar."
The Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2020 is another global sporting event being hosted on Yas Island during the Covid-19 pandemic, using the innovative 'safe zone' model. Last month, UFC held its two-week Fight Island on Yas Island, adding to Abu Dhabi's reputation as a respected and safe destination for elite sporting events.
The 'safe zone' on Yas Island is made possible through close collaboration between public and private stakeholders in Abu Dhabi, with organisations across a wide range of sectors from health to travel coming together to deliver a world-class event experience amid a global pandemic and enable fans around the world to savour a spectacular finale to the 2020 F1 season.
The Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will conclude a season that began in Austria at the start of July, a race in which Bottas finished first. Further events have followed, with Hamilton showing his class to emerge triumphant in Styria, Hungary, Britain and, most recently, Spain.
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