Abu Dhabi GP prepared to twin with Bahrain

UAE motor sport chief Mohammed ben Sulayem says that Abu Dhabi would have no problem being back-to-back with a rescheduled Bahrain GP, even if it potentially meant that some spectators might choose to attend Sakhir rather than Yas Island.

Former rally champion ben Sulayem, who is from Dubai, is also Vice-President for Sport of the FIA.

There is a gap either side of Abu Dhabi at the moment, but for the teams it would be virtually impossible to create a ‘triple header’ featuring India/Bahrain/Abu Dhabi, or Abu Dhabi/Bahrain/Brazil.

Precedent suggests that the first one is definitely out because FOM never schedules new races back-to-back, because of lack of knowledge over how long it takes to get freight in and out of customs.

Logically the only way to have the race after Abu Dhabi would be to move Brazil to December 4, which as previously reported here, is also the final Sunday of the football league season – and thus a big day in the local sporting calendar.

“We are organisers of the Abu Dhabi race and we respect the [FIA’s] judgement,” ben Sulayem told The National newspaper. “Finding time in the calendar is feasible. Originally, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain agreed to have a big separation on the calendar to make the most of the exposure that a Grand Prix brings. However, this is an emergency and in an emergency we need to work together.

“I spoke with Bernie and he was very straight. It wasn’t for us to decide. It was up to the Crown Prince of Bahrain because there are more important things going on there than motorsports.

“What is crucial is Bahrain get their priorities right and I believe they have done so. Stability is the most important factor at this stage, but once it returns then we will push to bring the race back, because we know they would do the same for us.”

Ben Sulayem added that it’s up to Bahrain to request a new place on the calendar, hopefully in time for the upcoming World Council meeting: “If a request comes from Bahrain, the FOM has to find a place on the calendar and Bahrain have to agree to it. Then the World Council will need to approve it.”


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6 responses to “Abu Dhabi GP prepared to twin with Bahrain

  1. Simon Benedict

    Please, not a season finale at Bahrain. What a complete snooze!

    It’s bad enough having it in Abu Dhabi.

    Make the final event somewhere the drivers can race.

    Like Interlagos…

  2. George

    Give it Valencia’s date. That race stinks too.

  3. Mike

    It probably won’t come to pass, but this seems an absolutely splendid gesture from Abu Dhabi towards their near neighbours. I agree that it would be better for teams for Bahrain to be cancelled until next year, but it’s good to see there is still room for humanity in F1 with the UAE doing all they can to remove obstacles to Bahrain taking some part this year. Bravo!

  4. Ben G

    How about they have a real double header, making use of Adu Dhabi’s lights –

    Bahrain FP Friday11th Nov, Quali & Race Sat 12th;
    Abu Dhabi FP Weds 16th, Quali evening Thurs 17th, race evening Fri 18th;

    Then off to Brazil as normal.

  5. Jack Shaftoe

    I know I don’t get to vote, but if I did Brazil would finish the season. The races at both Bahrain and Abu Dhabi are not for the fans of Formula One, but are for those the recent and current revolts have been against.

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