Dubai: A GP2 test race will officially throw open the Yas Marina Circuit a week before the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
"Everything is on schedule to have the best of the best circuits in the world," Mohammad Bin Sulayem, president of the UAE Automobile Touring Club, told Gulf News.
Bin Sulayem, who will have to oversee the hosting of the final round on the 2009 Formula One calendar in his capacity as the FIA vice-president as well as the president of the local national motorsport authority, is confident Abu Dhabi will meet the FIA deadline.
He added that the idea is not just to host an F1 race, but to present the best-ever race to the motorsport fraternity. "Every race is a successful one, but we aim to have the very best one here," Bin Sulayem insisted.
Under the plan, the track will be ready and opened to host a GP2 competition in order to have "all systems running" at the Yas Marina Circuit a week before the November 1 Grand Prix. The competition involving GP2 cars has been scheduled to be held on October 23-24 to gauge the preparedness of the circuit.
"Yes, we are on time. I know there is a lot of pressure for us to have everything up and running, and this sort of pressure is good. A similar thing happened with the Sakhir Circuit in Bahrain, and they came through with it. I don't see any reason why we cannot," Bin Sulayem said.
The Yas Marina Circuit will be renowned designer Hermann Tilke's latest creation. Designed as an Arabian version of Monaco, the 21 corners will twist through the man-made island passing the marina and winding its way through sand dunes with several long straights and tight corners.
The circuit has four planned grandstand areas with a total seating capacity of over 41,000 - and will have part of its pit lane exit run underneath the track.