Abu Dhabi GP agrees multi-year contract extension

Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:30am EST
 
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ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix organizers have agreed a contract extension to keep their race on the Formula One calendar for years to come.

Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, announcing the new agreement on Thursday, did not say how long the deal was for but the previous one was not due to expire until 2016.

"Abu Dhabi has played an important part in pioneering the modern era of Formula One racing," said the sport's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone in a statement.

"I said when the Yas Marina Circuit was opened that it may one day be matched, but it will never be bettered. The island has continued to transform each year. We have a wonderful partner here."

This year's season-ending race will decide which of Mercedes team mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg wins the title, with the Briton 17 points ahead but double points on offer for the first time.

Organizers said all tickets had been sold with the circuit set to see its biggest crowd yet of 60,000 on race day. That figure represents a 20 percent increase on the inaugural grand prix in 2009.

"The demand has been unprecedented, locally and internationally, and the atmosphere in the stands is going to be fantastic," said Yas Marina chief executive Al Tareq Al Ameri.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Justin Palmer)