Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel have sent a strong message to rivals, says Yas Marina Circuit CEO Al Tareq Al Ameri

Yas Marina Circuit CEO Al Tareq Al Ameri believes it will be good for the sport if the German can regain his world title in 2018

Denzil Pinto 2018/03/26

Al Tareq Al Ameri believes Ferrari have sent out a strong message to their rivals following Sebastian Vettel’s Australian Grand Prix triumph and believes it will be good for the sport if he can regain his world title in Abu Dhabi.

Vettel could not have asked for a more perfect start to 2018 with a dramatic victory in Melbourne on Sunday – the second successive year he has won Down Under.

It appeared his chances of replicating his 2017 success were slim with world champion and Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton in control of the race.

But with Romain Grosjean stopping on the track which forced officials to impose a virtual safety-car, the Ferrari driver made the most of his pit-stop to leapfrog the Brit and cross the finish line first.

Fans will be hoping this is just the start of what could be a fascinating title race after Hamilton clinched his fourth world championship with three races to spare last year.

And Yas Marina Circuit CEO Al Ameri says Vettel’s win bodes well for the season ahead and hinted if he can claim his fifth world title, there could be a ‘big celebration’ in the UAE capital.

“It looks good so far after Vettel’s win and I feel it is a positive sign for Ferrari,” he said. “I think that goes to the strength of the brand Ferrari. If he can win it here it will be like big celebration here in Abu Dhabi.”

Since Vettel won his last crown in 2013, Mercedes have been the dominant force on the track with Hamilton winning three of the last four titles (2013, 2014, 2015) and ex-driver Nico Rosberg triumphing in 2016.

But Al Ameri fears F1 might go ‘stale’ if Hamilton and Mercedes continues their dominance in the future. “You need to see a different champion otherwise things will go stale,” he said.

There’s still a long way to go before the elite drivers head to the capital in November but preparations are already underway for the season-finale.

The November 23-25 event will be the 10th anniversary of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Al Ameri says they have no issue in being the last race on the calendar.

“We have transformed to what needs to be one of the last races on the calendar. We are fully 100 per cent behind it to make it work for us and I think for us and the stakeholders have achieved that,” he said.

Speaking on whether he would be hopeful of hosting a title decider this year, he added: “It’s good in both scenarios. One with a title decider and one without a title decider. I think both of them are of their own merits but maybe for a certain segment of our community, yes they would prefer a title decider.”

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Al Tariq Al Ameri Lewis Hamilton Sebastian Vettel Yas Marina Circuit