A brand new Hermann Tilke facility appears on the F1 calendar every year it seems, but even though this weekend will be F1's fourth visit to Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina circuit (making it positively long in the tooth in this ever changing sport) in terms both of its visuals and its facilities it remains a clear stride ahead of all other venues.
|The Yas Marina circuit - an unmistakable venue|
Credit: formulasantander.com / CC
And in terms of F1 balancing its books it's clear where Abu Dhabi sits. The city of Abu Dhabi drips with money and, alongside Monaco and increasingly Singapore, Abu Dhabi is the event that F1's money providers, both current and potential, want to attend, entertain guests and do business at. The Paddock Club there is booked up far in advance, as is the deliberately Monaco-reminiscent harbour with room for 150 boats. Tickets also usually sell out, at the admittedly modest capacity of 50,000 (and in previous years some of these ticket holders appeared to attend the race disguised as empty seats).