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Page last updated at 15:08 GMT, Friday, 28 August 2009 16:08 UK

F1 year to have day-night climax

By Sarah Holt
BBC Sport at Spa-Francorchamps

Abu Dhabi is building a new track to host this season's F1 finale
The new F1 track under construction in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1 will stage its first day-night race in this season's finale at the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 1 November race will run under floodlights, starting at 1700 local time (1300 GMT), when it will still be light, and ending in the dark.

The sun is due to set at about 1745 local time in the United Arab Emirate.

The race has been moved from its provisional 1500 start to an hour more convenient for the sport's core European television audiences.

Abu Dhabi is staging the year's final race in place of Brazil, where the last two drivers' titles have been decided.

Organisers will be hoping to attract a big crowd at the new circuit and massive global television audience if the championship goes down to the wire again.

Jenson Button holds an 18-point lead ahead of Sunday's Belgium GP but has seen his Brawn GP team-mate Rubens Barrichello and Red Bull rivals Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel close the gap in recent races.

McLaren's reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton remains mathematically in the mix with a maximum of 60 points still up for grabs.


Both Australia and Malaysia experienced problems this year by holding their grands prix later in the day.

In Melbourne's season-opener in March, the drivers complained about visibility caused by the low sun at Albert Park.

The following race in Malaysia was interrupted by heavy rain and the light was fading before the event was red-flagged after 32 laps.

Yas Marina organisers say the lighting system they will use is designed specifically to provide a consistent daylight effect as well as removing shadow and glare at driver level, and that the lights will be on from the start of the race "to ensure a seamless transition from daylight to dark".

Jenson Button takes the chequered flag in the setting sun in Melbourne at the start of the season
Drivers complained of being blinded by the low sun in Australia

"It is the best of both worlds," said Richard Cregan, CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management. "Spectators and television viewers will see the stunning architecture of the world's newest Formula 1 circuit during the afternoon sunlight and then experience what it is like under floodlights.

"We hope that everyone will be impressed by what they experience and see."

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see also
Suzuka & Valencia extend F1 deals
23 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Abu Dhabi to stage 2009 F1 finale
25 Jun 08 |  Formula 1
Malaysia night-race plan aborted
19 Feb 09 |  Formula 1
Malaysia start time under review
06 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
Kubica wary of twilight F1 races
02 Apr 09 |  Formula 1

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