Adu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix May Start at Twilight
It appears F1 officials are planning to step up the race starting time for the final stage of the competition by 2 hours. This means, the last race of the year would start at 5 p.m. local time, instead of the originally scheduled 3 p.m.
The inaugural race for Formula 1 at the specified venue would then start at 1 p.m. GMT. It is believed the change was taken into consideration in order to achieve a more convenient broadcasting time for the European television audience.
A document sent by Formula One Management (FOM) to the televison producers at the Belgian Grand Prix, which was seen by Autosport as well, revealed the time for both qualifying and race were changed to 5 p.m. When contacted by the official F1 website, an Abu Dhabi spokesperson denied the news.
"The race time in Abu Dhabi is as per schedule at 3pm," the spokesperson said. Richard Cregan, Yas Marina Circuit's CEO, said there have been talks about a night race for the near future, but evaded a clear answer, stating just that their interest is to host the event in a way it suits everybody.
"I think what's most important is that we give everybody a great experience, and on Sunday night they'll go home and want to come back to the next event at Yas Marina - and definitely the next Grand Prix.
Whether a day race or a night race, the most important thing is to create that atmosphere. I think there is something special about racing Formula 1 cars at night time. If in the future we can maximise that, and do something that has never been done before, then I think it would just add to the buzz of the whole weekend," stated Richard Cregan.