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Yas Marina Circuit CEO Al Ameri beaming after race success

The decisive nature of not just the main show but the support events helped make the occasion truly memorable

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Yas Marina Circuit CEO Al Tareq Al Ameri couldn’t have asked for more and was all smiles at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that concluded on Sunday under the glitter of the floodlights at the desert track.

In his three-year tenure as chief of the circuit, two times the Formula One title has been decided at the capital venue. “The excitement factor and competition level between the two drivers Lewis (Hamilton) and (Nico) Rosberg went almost as a scripted scenario for us,” said a pleased-looking Al Ameri, whose other delight was that the two support races were also decided here.

“Then the GP2 and the GP3 Championship all being decided in one event in Abu Dhabi was simply awesome. These things just happen and you can’t plan for it, so we are extremely happy. From the fans’ point of view, this would have been a dream finale for them,” added Al Ameri, who still feels that there is room for improvement.

“I would say yes, I have managed to achieve some of the personal targets set to an extent. Some weren’t in our favour and some were in our favour. It wasn’t an easy campaign to execute and wasn’t the easiest year for us,” said Al Ameri, who credited his entire team for the tremendous success of the event.

“With the team behind it and with proper planning that took place from the beginning of the year, we managed to get it together without any glitch. The support system we have here in the UAE is sound with some strong stakeholders — (through) both corporate and government identities we achieved the difficult formula, I would say so. We would say that this was our biggest event,” said Al Ameri, who vowed to look for more improvements next year — which will be the ninth year running.

“We always try to innovate but we are humbled with the success we had over the years. Every year we have something to learn and evaluate on later. If the plans have been executed, well and good, or else we have to come up with a new formula for next year,” said Al Ameri, who was also pretty happy with the crowd turnout for the event.

“The device and campaign we put forward has paid off and it was a sell out in spite of being in a difficult period of the year. Attendance wise, it is on par with the previous years. There was a strong lineup for the after-race parties. We had a big Thursday where all ticket holders were given an opportunity to go for the concert,” informed Al Ameri, who is also keen on facilitating as much as possible to see a UAE youth make up the ranks to Formula One in the near future.

“We are trying to help in whatever possible way we can. Our role is to provide the ladder for any youth to move forward from karting to all the way forward to F1. We will slowly see the movement of moving forward from amateur level to the Formula One level.”