Haas team principal Gunther Steiner has defended Abu Dhabi’s status as the final race of the Formula 1 season after criticism for the lack of on-track action.

Abu Dhabi has hosted the final race of the F1 season each year since 2014, but the difficulty of overtaking around the Yas Marina Circuit has led to calls for Brazil to return to the end of the calendar.

While the Brazilian Grand Prix has been the stage for some classic F1 finales in the past, Haas chief Steiner said Abu Dhabi’s quality of racing was a result of the track layout, but remained an enjoyable event.

“I think as a venue it’s a very nice place to finish the season in my opinion,” Steiner said.

“The racing here, it is because of the track layout obviously, it’s never been a really good show. But today Lewis [Hamilton] walked away with it, so I don’t think it was a bad show. But this year, some of the races were very interesting and you always compare it. This was good and then if something is just mediocre it’s bad.

“I don’t think it’s the wrong place, as would you like to finish the season in Brazil? Not really. From a sporting point, maybe yes, but the whole atmosphere, it’s great here.”

Steiner said Abu Dhabi offered fans a better show and all-round event, drawing comparisons to Melbourne as F1’s season-opener.

“For the people, the show, not the sport, this is good. Look the amount of people coming here having fun, it’s a very good place,” Steiner said.

“The racing sometimes is not the best here, but then maybe we always say but we need to have better race cars.

“Melbourne didn’t produce a lot of interesting races, but it’s always a good show in Melbourne as it’s the first race. I don’t think it’s the wrong place to have the last race here.”

Additional reporting by Julianne Cerasoli.

 

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