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Abu Dhabi glamour circuit taking shape

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F1 Mole | 10:31 UK time, Sunday, 26 April 2009

The Mole sent a team to Abu Dhabi this week to check out the site for the city's inaugural Grand Prix.

The GP in the United Arab Emirates is replacing Brazil as the season finale and takes place on 1 November.

The 5.5km Yas Marina Circuit should certainly be eye-catching as it is being constructed just off the coast on Yas Island.

The Abu Dhabi Yas Marina circuit being constructed


Right now, diggers, cranes and tarmac-laying machines are being put to use by around 30,000 workers, who are braving the hot and dusty conditions.

Some of the buildings are more advanced than others but the shape of the centre-piece five-star hotel which straddles the circuit is in place.

The large marina in the middle of the circuit looks less like itself as the water is being kept at bay by a dam until work on the rest of the site is completed.

Other features of the innovative circuit include a tunnel at the end of the pit-lane and then a long curve so the cars can re-enter the pack at speed.

A karting centre and driving school will also be open all year round which could help find the region's first F1 champion.

Ferrari driver Felipe Massa - who alas is not part of The Mole's reconnaissance team - visited the site ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix and said: "It's amazing.

"The circuit isn't ready yet but you can still see that it will be the most impressive facility in F1."

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone also took the 250 mile journey from Bahrain to Abu Dhabi on Friday to inspect the site and track.

After blazing temperatures of up to 40C in Bahrain, Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel has also been doing some research on the season's second Middle East GP.

"How hot is it going to be in Abu Dhabi when we are there?" the Red Bull driver asked on Saturday.

"Cooler," came the reply. Hmmm, that may not necessarily be the case for the German, if he still finds himself in contention for the world title.

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