A source close to the negotiations has confirmed that Abu Dhabi will stage its inaugural grand prix probably in 2009.
“Yes, it is going to happen,” the unnamed person told the Gulf News, while other sources said the race could even happen next year if a circuit can be built in time.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone will reportedly unleash the news at a press conference this weekend, when the Middle Eastern emirate hosts a ‘F1 festival’ involving most teams and many leading drivers.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa are the latest prominent names to confirm their participation at the event, and it is suggested that seven time world champion Michael Schumacher might also show his face.
The Gulf News wrote: “Bernie Ecclestone refused to (comment) but insisted the media attend a press conference on Saturday.”
It is understood that the unique location chosen for the permanent F1 circuit is a man-made island.
The unnamed source said those negotiating with Ecclestone about the Abu Dhabi grand prix were not “bullsh**ters, middlemen (or) dreamers”.
“The presence of decision-makers made this happen. You need to carve a straight path to Ecclestone,” he added.