By Sam Bridge
Race on December 13 will be held without spectators for the first time due to ongoing Covid-19 crisis
Yas Island will be transformed into an F1 biosphere, creating one of the largest safe zones with access restricted to essential staff, drivers and teams working on December's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The race, which will again be the finale to the Formula One season on Sunday December 13, will take place without spectators due to the continued global situation with Covid-19.
With significant stakeholder collaboration and planning across UAE government entities and in alignment with F1 management, the precautionary health measures in place during the F1 weekend on Yas Island "prioritise the wellbeing of the F1 community while maintaining the competitive integrity of the final race of the season", a statement carried by state news agency WAM said.
Lewis Hamilton will be aiming for a third consecutive Abu Dhabi triumph, and sixth in total while his Mercedes team have been even more dominant, finishing top of the constructor standings for the past six years in a row.
Saif Al Noaimi, acting CEO, Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management (ADMM), said: "We are grateful for the commitment of F1 management, the teams and our Abu Dhabi partners whose innovative collaboration during these unprecedented times allows us to host a safe and competitive final race of the season. Special thanks also go to our committed sponsors ADNOC and Etihad Airways, who continue to support this important sporting spectacle on Yas Island."
Chase Carey, CEO of the Formula One Group, added: "We are delighted that we will be upholding our traditional end of season race with our valued and special partners at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. While this season has been challenging for everyone, we can think of no better place to bring the 2020 season to an end and look forward to completing our seventeen-race calendar."
The Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2020 is another global sporting event being hosted on Yas Island during the Covid-19 pandemic, using the safe zone model.
Last month, UFC held its two-week Fight Island on Yas Island, adding to Abu Dhabi’s reputation as a destination for elite sporting events.
Abu Dhabi will conclude a season that began in Austria at the start of July, a race in which Bottas finished first. Further races have followed, with Hamilton emerging triumphant in Styria, Hungary, Britain and, most recently, Spain.