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F1 in for more night races UPDATE #2 (GMM)  The boss of next year's inaugural Abu Dhabi grand prix has played down the possibility that the race could be staged at night.

Bernie Ecclestone said this week: "At the moment, we do not have an agreement to run formula one at night in Abu Dhabi but we are discussing the possibility."

But Philippe Gurdjian, albeit an historical ally of the F1 chief executive, told the local newspaper Gulf News that it is currently "not an objective" to become the sport's next floodlit venue.

"Just a few days ago Bernie Ecclestone said that the 2009 calendar will have one night race and that is Singapore," the Frenchman, CEO of race promoter Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, remarked.

Abu Dhabi, with a circuit currently under construction on its Yas Island, is scheduled to host a grand prix for the first time in November next year.

"I would personally like it to be a day race," Gurdjian said.

He admitted, however, that some thought has been devoted to the concept of installing lighting infrastructure at the track.

"But it is difficult to do it.

"Secondly we are concentrating more on the aesthetic side of the project.  But yes we are working on this aspect," Gurdjian answered.

10/14/08 (GMM)  Next year's season finale could be staged under floodlights, F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has admitted.

It was rumored recently that, following the success of the inaugural night grand prix in Singapore, Ecclestone's next target for the spectacle is Abu Dhabi, a new event to be staged in the Arab emirate late next year.

Race organizers Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management would not comment on the speculation.

But Ecclestone told the local newspaper Khaleej Times: "At the moment, we do not have an agreement to run formula one at night in Abu Dhabi but we are discussing the possibility."

09/28/08 McLaren team boss Ron Dennis believes more Grands Prix could be staged at night following the success of Singapore. High-powered floodlights illuminated the streets of Singapore and Fernando Alonso claimed victory in the first-ever Formula One event staged in the dark.

"It is just a phenomenal spectacle" - Ron Dennis The race had a unique atmosphere and Dennis is convinced future races will be held at night as a result.

He said: "I don't think anybody does not appreciate the success of the concept of racing at night. The only negative comment I've heard throughout the weekend from any member of our team was that the circuit is a bit bumpy, but everyone adapts to that and it is easy to rectify for next year.

"The really impressive thing relates to the lighting. There are very few places that don't look even better at night because they are beautifully lit and it is the same of this city.

"When you see the shots of the city and the way they have brought the whole atmosphere of Singapore into the event, it is just a phenomenal spectacle."

Floodlit races may allow races to start at times that suit television audiences and it could increase the number of street circuits in Formula One.

Dennis added: "Clearly it provides Formula One with a very powerful tool because we can now target anywhere in the world.

"If both Singapore and Valencia tweak the circuits with experience then this is going to set a new trend. It is a real big step in the history of Grand Prix racing. It has done so well. Everything has been proven to work and we can take this model and apply it anywhere.

"It could be used in Europe to bring us into night and we can change the viewing times. It can be used now to glamorize Formula One even more."
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