TEAM ABU DHABI AIM TO BRING HOME DOUBLE F1 SUCCESS
Al-Qamzi, Carella chase victory in Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi to boost team world title bid
Abu Dhabi, 9 December, 2015: Team Abu Dhabi have set themselves a big double target in the penultimate round of the 2015 UIM F1 H2O World Championship this weekend, aiming for an outright race win to propel their challenge for a second world title of the season.
The full Team Abu Dhabi line-up ready at ADIMSC today in the final countdown to the 2015 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.
While Thani Al-Qamzi and Alex Carella both have a mathematical chance of landing the drivers’ world championship, Team Abu Dhabi manager Guido Cappellini made clear today what the dual target will be in Friday’s Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.
“Yes we know that Thani and Alex are among nine drivers who could be champions, but realistically that is almost impossible,” said Cappellini, who captured the F1 world title ten times in a record-breaking career.
“For me, the main focus is to get a win here in Abu Dhabi and to take the team championship at the end of the season because there is a better possibility that we could do that.”
Cappellini believes the Frenchman Philippe Chiappe’s 26pt lead means he is virtually certain to be crowned world champion at Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club on Friday, or if not, following the final round in Sharjah a week later.
In the team championship, however, Al-Qamzi and Alex Carella are within 15pts of the CTIC China Team pairing of Chiappe and Ziwei Xiong, and after a month of intensive preparations on home waters, Team Abu Dhabi believe either of their drivers could win in the UAE capital.
Carella has won the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi twice, and while Al-Qamzi has yet to savour a home victory his splendid second place behind Chiappe in the previous round in China suggests that Team Abu Dhabi are fully capable of getting both drivers on to the podium this weekend.
If that happens, they will head for Sharjah with a strong chance of adding to the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship title which Gary Ballough and John Tomlinson secured last month for Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, where the team is based.
It would also reward Etihad Airways, the team’s official carrier and sponsor, and Marina Mall, for their support during a season in which Rashed Al-Tayer and Faleh Al-Mansoori finished runners up on their debut for Team Abu Dhabi in the UIM XCAT World Series.
While the main focus is on F1, which features 19 drivers from 12 countries, there is also the matter of the UIM F-4S Trophy title race in which Germany’s Mike Szymura holds a 36pt lead and aims to tie up the championship with a round to spare.
Team Abu Dhabi, however, aim to make an impact at home. Rashed Al-Qemzi underlined his capabilities with two pole positions in China where he was denied a maiden win by a crash in race one and a one-lap penalty in the second race, leaving him seventh in the championship.
He would love to achieve his F1 breakthrough this weekend, while team-mate Mohammed Al-Mehairbi will be looking to improve on his fourth place in the standings.
A busy day of Grand Prix build-up tomorrow (Thursday) morning starts with F-4S free practice and time trials at 09.10hrs followed by free practice for the F1 boats from 10.15hrs. The first of the weekend’s two F-4S races roars to life at 14.00hrs and is followed by the crucial F1 qualifying from 15.30hrs.
Further F-4S free practice, time trials and F1 practice are on the agenda for Friday morning at similar times and precede the second of the 20-minute F-4S races, starting at 14.00hrs. The 24th Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi takes centre stage from 15.30hrs.
2015 UIM F1 H2O World Championship – after round 4:
1. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team 55 pts
2. Shaun Torrente (USA) Victory Team 39 pts
3. Youssef Al-Rubayan (KUW) F1 GC Atlantic Team 36 pts
4. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 29 pts
5. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica 27 pts
6. Thani Al-Qamzi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 20 pts
7. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 19 pts
7. Alex Carella (ITA) Team Abu Dhabi 19 pts
7. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 19 pts
10. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica 13 pts
Team Championship standings
1. CTIC China Team 56pts
2. Team Abu Dhabi 41pts
3. F1 GC Atlantic Team 41pts
4. Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 38pts
5. Team Sweden 36pts
6. Team EMIC 29pts
7. Victory Team 19pts
8. Emirates Team 16pts
2015 UIM F-4S Trophy – current standings:
1. Mike Szymura (DEU) F1 GC Atlantic Team 80 pts
2. Joakhim Halvorsen (NOR) Team EMIC 44 pts
3. Bingchen Wu (CHN) CTIC China Team 30 pts
4. Mohammed Al-Mehairbi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 27 pts
4. Christian Cesati (ITA) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 27 pts
6. Briney Rigby (AUS) Team Sweden 24 pts
7. Rashed Al-Qemzi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 20 pts
8. Ferdinand Zandbergen (NED) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 15 pts
9. Ronny Mathys (SUI) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 14 pts
10. Mansoor Al-Mansoori (ARE) Emirates Team 12 pts
11. Rashed Al-Remeithi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi 6 pts