It’s been just about a month since Al Tareq Al Ameri took over as the Chief Executive Officer at the Yas Marina Circuit (YMC) in Abu Dhabi. Having already been part of the commercial division at YMC for the past five years, Al Ameri feels his new job profile does not add any extra pressure but just the additional responsibilities.
“The shift is not a big change for me but of course there is more responsibilities and duties. With the same team which has been delivering all these while we will ensure we are maintaining the momentum of the growth,” said Al Ameri on the sidelines of announcing the sale of tickets for the 2014 Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which will be held from November 20-23.
Al Ameri officially took over from Richard Cregan in the second week of March. Cregan, who will be on an advisory role reporting to the board, is leading the Russian Grand Prix preparations. “Cregan was a mentor to me. I respect him highly due to his vast experience and our relationship will continue together as we move forward,” Al Ameri said.
The 34-year-old Emirati said YMC has always worked towards making the race bigger and better and this time too he assures it will have its surprises. “The challenge is always there. This is not the first time we are doing this, it’s our sixth year. We have a good team and support network with our stakeholders and partners, so everything is going on as planned.
“We tend to innovate and develop year on year. Our offering from year one and up to this time has seen major development and growth in it. So definitely this year we’ll have changes and will add more excitement in what we offer to our attendees,” he added.
Abu Dhabi, which will host the final race in the F1 calendar this year, will also see a new double-points structure that will give 50 points to the one who takes the chequered flag.
“This is something the FOM (Formula One Management) decided on. The fact that it came to us and the last race is good for Abu Dhabi. This will keep things exciting till the last race. I think it will change the calculations among the drivers definitely with Abu Dhabi race counting a lot. The feedback so far (on the new points system) has been positive and exciting from both drivers and all those involved,” Al Ameri said, adding that change is always better for the sport. “Some people don’t like changes but for a sport like this there has always been changes and that’s what has kept it exciting.”
Al Ameri said he was also open to new ideas that could further develop the Yas Marina Circuit. “There are plans and we are working on it. We have a solid foundation and we are going to enhance more on that.”
Talking about support races, he added: “We have the GP2 and GP3 races as the support races. We are working with the Formula One authorities to see the possibility of allotting more support races,” he said.
He also said YMC will strive to promote local drivers and provide them the best facilities. “The Racing School has a lot to offer and our team is working on new products. We are facilitators here as the operators of the circuit and we will do our best to support the community.”
YMC will have an increase in capacity with an extension made to the popular Abu Dhabi Hill grassed area introduced last year. It can accommodate 3,000 more fans and with the Paddock Club boosted by 1,500 extra guests, the event will now host 60,000.
Tickets will be available at www.yasmarinacircuit.com and through the YMC Call Centre 800 927 or at all Etihad Shops and www.ticketmaster.ae.