Moves afoot to add missing elements to Abu Dhabi GP (GMM) Even vast amounts of money can't buy the things missing from the imposing new Yas Marina Circuit, Lewis Hamilton remarked before starting his last race as reigning world champion from pole position.
"It's called character, the history of the place" said the Briton, a staunch supporter of Silverstone's efforts to stay on the calendar despite a far less opulent venue and without the support of its government.
"Money can't buy it," the McLaren driver added. "If it is here for many years and they get Abu Dhabi drivers, then maybe it will have it."
However, it emerges that moves are afoot to add those missing elements to the Yas extravaganza, and money is again the recipe, an Arabian Business report revealed.
Millions are being poured into a fund to establish United Arab Emirates (UAE)-centered Indy and MotoGP teams, and to develop local drivers.
"The intention is to have an Indy racing team, and MotoGP teams based in the UAE using UAE drivers and riders with the ultimate intention to move in to formula one if budgets allow," said Network Grand Prix partner Lawrence Challenbron.
"The fund currently available is in the millions with monies being provided by various sources. This money will be used to build the team infrastructure," he added.
Talks are already taking place with television broadcasters to air a program about the search for local drivers.
"The prize for the winner will be a drive in the F1 style Indy Lights world championship," said International Racing Partners development manager James Iverson.