The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is a Formula One race. It was announced in early 2007 at the Abu Dhabi F1 Festival in the United Arab Emirates. The first race took place on November 1, 2009, held at the Hermann Tilke designed Yas Marina Circuit.
On June 25, 2008 the FIA announced the provisional 2009 Formula One calendar including the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as the 19th and final race of the season on November 15. On November 5, 2008, however, it was announced that the race would be held as the season finale on November 1, two weeks before the initially planned date, as the 17th and final race.
The inaugural race was Formula One's first ever day-night race, starting at 17:00 local time. Floodlights used to illuminate the circuit were switched on from the start of the event to ensure a seamless transition from daylight to darkness. Subsequent Abu Dhabi Grands Prix have also been day-night races.
Formula 1 first came to Abu Dhabi in 2007 in the guise of the first ever Formula One Festival. Announced in January 2007, the event which took place on 3 February 2007 was free, and the largest gathering of current Formula One cars and drivers outside of a Grand Prix. At the festival it was announced that Abu Dhabi had won the rights to host a Grand Prix from 2009 until 2016. Later that year, Etihad Airways negotiated a three-year deal for them to become sponsors of the Grand Prix.
For the 2009 Formula One season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was added to the schedule. It was provisionally announced as being held on 15 November 2009, as the 19th and final Grand Prix of the season. Both the Canadian Grand Prix and French Grand Prix were later removed from the provisional schedule, and as a result the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was moved to 1 November 2009 where it would become the last of 17 meetings. In August 2009, it was announced that the start time would be 1700 local time, and that the race would be floodlit. The inaugural race was won by Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull Racing.