Abu Dhabi hoping for season ending F1 decider

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The Independent Online

Abu Dhabi circuit boss Richard Cregan will be cheering on Rubens Barrichello and Sebastian Vettel during this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix.

Cregan, the CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, cannot help but be biased towards the duo as he would love to see this year's Formula One world title race reach a conclusion on his track.

The £400million Yas Marina development makes its debut on 1 November after passing all of the FIA's stringent checks.

Given the spectacular nature of the venue that boasts a five-star, 500-bedroom hotel at its heart, it would provide a fitting stage for the season's denouement.

But either Barrichello or Vettel will need to score heavily on Sunday at Interlagos, while hoping championship leader Jenson Button has an off-day, if the title is to be decided in the final race for the fourth successive year.

"If anybody had asked us on the eve of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, we would have been thinking (the title race) was all over at that stage," said Cregan.

"The fact it's still going is just fantastic for everything, for us, for the championship, and if you look at the viewing figures this year, they're very impressive.

"There's a big expectancy it will go down to the wire. We're hoping it will."

Cregan, though, has promised fans heading to Yas Marina they are in for a weekend of entertainment even if Button manages to clinch the crown in Brazil on Sunday.

"One way or the other we're going to have a great weekend, we've a great support programme, with great participation from all of the stakeholders in Abu Dhabi and the UAE," added Cregan.

"But if we can have a championship decider on our first grand prix, it will obviously increase a lot of the pressure.

"At the same time it will be great for the people who have decided to make the trip here, that it will give them that little bit of added spice for the weekend.

"Hopefully everybody will be happy on the Sunday night, and we'll have a championship decider. That would be fantastic."

David Coulthard, meanwhile, fears the unthinkable for Button is not beyond the realms of possibility.

Button holds a 14-point lead over Brawn GP team-mate Barrichello, with Red Bull Racing's Vettel two points further adrift.

Lewis Hamilton knows all too painfully how to lose a title from such a position of strength, as he did two years ago when he was 17 points clear of Kimi Raikkonen with two races remaining.

It is the kind of fact Button has been forced to push to the back of his mind over the past few weeks as he has stumbled towards the finish line.

Coulthard, a winner of 13 grands prix during his career, said: "In Brazil, I'll put my money on Rubens.

"It's his home track, he's even had a Stewart Grand Prix car near the front there (in qualifying). I'd be amazed if he doesn't ace it there.

"But you have to imagine Jenson will hold on and get across the line, although if he bins it in Brazil and Rubens were to win, he would be down to a four-point gap.

"It would be terrible to imagine him losing it after leading all season, but he could."