Bernie Ecclestone Q&A: Yas Marina Circuit a miracle come true 31 Oct 2009
Formula One Management CEO Bernie Ecclestone is not known for being overly verbose, but when he expresses his opinions they tend to stick. And he clearly has an opinion on the new Abu Dhabi race venue, labeling it a monumental achievement
Q: Bernie, two and a half years ago when you signed the contract for an Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this area was a desert. How impressed are you when you look around?
Bernie Ecclestone: I am overwhelmed and I think everybody felt the same when they saw this. It is monumental. When I came here in April a lot was not finished but I definitely knew that there would be race in the autumn, although it was hard to believe it at that time. But look around. Look what theyve done. Its almost a miracle come true thinking about where we started. As you said - it was a desert!
Q: Has Formula One racing come to the land of plenty?
BE: I dont know anything about the land of plenty. Weve come to a country where people are determined to achieve their goals. Its that simple.
Q: Does Abu Dhabi support your efforts to bring Formula One racing to new countries and regions?
BE: Absolutely! I sometimes get criticized for taking Formula One to places with little or no motor racing heritage, but look what happens in countries with that much-trumpeted heritage!
Q: For a long time youve said you could imagine a 20-race calendar. Now that we have very little testing over the winter, more and more drivers seem to find that idea appealing
BE: Yes, I always said that it is possible and obviously now there are more and more people falling for that idea. Nobody needs testing. It was always, in my opinion, that testing costs money while racing brings money. Or let them test on Monday after the race when everybody is at the track, the hotels are paid for and that huge logistical effort is eliminated.
Q: Coming back to this weekends inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, what do you expect is going to happen in the race?
BE: I never have any preference as to the winner, but I hope it will be an exciting race because this is what we owe to Abu Dhabi for what theyve done for us.