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Ecclestone calls Abu Dhabi 'best ever', drivers reserve judgement

Bernie Ecclestone was in typically effusive form as he described his impressions of the new Yas Marina circuit, but F1's stars opted to reserve judgement until getting a chance to drive it.

Bernie Ecclestone was in typically effusive form as he described his impressions of the new Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, claiming that the entire $1bn development was the best to ever appear on the Formula One schedule.

The Middle East facility forms just one part of the massive Yas Island initiative - itself thought to have cost $40bn to pull together - and stages the F1 finale in its first season on the calendar, with the race due to finish under floodlights - and surrounded by the various illuminations of the resort - on Sunday evening local time. While the drivers were a little more reticent to pass judgement on the circuit, however, Ecclestone produced his usual 'best ever' quote to describe the newcomer.

"What they've done is unbelievable," the 79-year old, who is currently trying to find a solution to the British Grand Prix wrangle involving Silverstone and Donington Park, told Reuters.

"It was April 2006 that I sat with the crown prince and, at that time, we didn't start to discuss a race. However, during dinner, we came up with the idea that maybe we should have a race here, and it's magic what they've done. I never thought it would be finished like this - I thought bits and pieces would be done. I said I hope we're not going to be racing on a building site, but no-one is going to top this. I'll be happy if someone does the same."

Out-going world champion Lewis Hamilton called the facilities 'mind-blowing', while BMW-Sauber's Nick Heidfeld confirmed that pre-race claims had been true.

"We heard so much about it before coming here," the German revealed, "All the people who had been here before said 'it's unbelievable, it's fantastic, it's huge', so you knew what to expect. It's definitely very well done but, most importantly for me, tomorrow I will see if the circuit is good or not."

Heidfeld's comments echoed those of some of his rivals, who all insisted that they wanted to try the circuit out for real before passing comment.

"I was impressed with the facilities and the place and the circuit [and], so far, it seems to be very well made with the surface and the kerbs," fellow veteran Jarno Trulli observed, "I think the run-off area, so far, seems pretty good but, obviously, before we judge the circuit layout, we need to have a run.

While several drivers have been attempting to learn the circuit on simulators - including Force India's Adrian Sutil, who described it as 'good to drive, but not overwhelming' - double world champion Fernando Alonso will be seeing it for the first time this weekend.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
October 2009, the night-time view from the Yas Marina circuit`s North Grandstand, looking down the section of the track where the drivers will wrestle through the chicane and hairpin and exit onto the longest straight in F1 [pic credit: Yas Marina Circuit]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Roger Federer (SUI) tennis player and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Luis Fernando Ramos (BRA), Journalist
27.11.2016 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
27.11.2016 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
27.11.2016 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM

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hamsterace - Unregistered

October 30, 2009 11:07 AM

Would this be the most recent "best ever" since the last "best ever", and before the next "best ever"? Everyone knows that being Bernie's favourite chum is a seriously short term experience. Just ask the Chinese, Bahrainis, Malaysians etc. Taz - spot on. He'd give the moon a GP if they came up with the readies. Seriously, who cares about the facilities? All we want to see is RACING!!!

Taz - Unregistered

October 30, 2009 10:11 AM

Of course he will say that....they are lining his pockets. He'd stage a race in Cambodia is they paid him the money :rolleyes: Button just gone quickest :)



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