F1 Qatar Team heads to Linyi for crucial Chinese test

Grand Prix of China, Linyi – October 2-3, round 3 of 8

For immediate release
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010


· Team Qatar’s Price aims to move into outright championship lead
· Team Qatar’s Andy Elliott aiming for top 10 finish
· Qatar’s Khalid Salih Al-Shamlan set to make F4 debut in new series

LINYI (China): Team Qatar has arrived at Linyi in China to prepare for the most important four weeks of the 2010 UIM F1 World Championship calendar. Sunday’s Grand Prix of China will take place on the Yihe River in Linyi and will be followed by two further races at Liuzhou and Shenzhen later in October.

The Linyi race will also mark the first time that the new F4 series has run in tandem with the UIM F1 calendar and 34-year-old Khalid Salih Al-Shamlan will be making his debut for Team Qatar under the management of Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, Head of Formula Racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF).

Former UIM F1 World Champion Jay Price finished third at the most recent round of the series in Russia and currently holds a joint lead in the Drivers’ Championship for Team Qatar alongside Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al-Qamzi. Finland’s Sami Selio and the UAE’s Ahmed Al-Hameli are a mere one point adrift and a slimmed-down Price realises the importance of collecting points in Linyi on Sunday and not jeopardising his boat before the subsequent two Chinese races on October 17th and October 24th.

“The whole team is ready and I am looking forward to the next few weeks immensely,” said Price. “It is always important that I don’t damage the boat, but we do have a back-up boat just in case. The podium is the goal in every race. Maybe the weather will be a little cooler in Linyi than the other venues and we will need to work a little on the balance of the boat before the race, because I have lost more than 20lbs in weight since the last race. I hope this is the year of the Qatar Team!”

“We need to be careful with the boat, but that is not to say that we won’t be aiming for the podium and the race win,” added the QMSF’s Al-Kuwari. “Collecting 60 points in China would help us lead the World Championship before we move back to the Middle East for round six in Qatar in November. It would be great for Team Qatar to be atop of the points before the Doha race. Team Abu Dhabi will be very strong and every year they are getting better and better, but they are not the only team we need to beat. The field has strength in depth, so it will not be easy.”

Al-Shamlan will make his F4 debut in Linyi alongside another nine young racing hopefuls entered by their respective F1 teams. The new 400hp F4 boats can reach speeds of 230km/h and will be in race action over the weekend. Drivers will take to the water for a 90-minute practice session on Saturday morning, followed by their time trials. F4 drivers will then take part in two 20-minute races; one on Saturday afternoon at 14.00hrs (local time) and one at 13.00hrs on Sunday (local time).

Al-Shamlan’s F4 rivals include Germany’s Stefan Hagin of the Atlantic Team, Majed Al-Mansoori of Team Abu Dhabi, Xiong Ziwei of the CTIC China Team and Filip Roms of Team Mad Croc.

Team Qatar’s Andy Elliott finished ninth in the last round of the F1 series in Russia and holds eighth place in the Drivers’ Championship. The Briton knows that he has a responsibility to collect team points for a top 10 finish, although he will be racing for the first time since the tragic loss of his father.

“Obviously I have to look after the boat, but one of my crew members, David Burgess, is a genius with boats and he would be able to make repairs if something untoward happened. I always like racing at new venues and Linyi will be no exception.

“It’s also a brilliant step by series promoter Nicola di San Germano to introduce the F4 discipline. Some of the top drivers in F1 are getting older and we needed something to push the younger drivers through the ranks. Some of the countries in the series don’t have their own training schools or national championships and this is a great opportunity to nurture new talent.”

Linyi is a dynamic, growing city in north-eastern China, situated in the south of the Shandong Province. It exports textiles, foodstuffs, electronics, coal and chemicals and is located in a scenic, hilly region.

Teams will carry out registration and documentation formalities on Friday (October 1st), with free practice and time trials taking place on Saturday and the Grand Prix of China roaring into life on the Yihe River on Sunday (October 3rd) afternoon.

2010 UIM F1 World Championship – Drivers’ points after round 2 of 8:
1. Jay Price (QA) Qatar F1 Team 21 pts
1. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 21 pts
3. Sami Selio (FIN) Team Mad Croc 20 pts
3. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 20 pts
5. Alex Carella (I) Team Mad Croc 15 pts
5. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Racing Team 15 pts
7. Pierre Lundin (S) CTIC China Team 12 pts
8. Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan 7 pts
8. Andy Elliott (GB) Qatar F1 Team 7 pts
10. Davide Padovan (I) Rainbow Team 6 pts
11. Fabian Kalsow (D) F1 Atlantic Team 4 pts
11. Marit Stromoy (N) Team Azerbaijan 4 pts
13. Stanislav Kourtsenovsky (RUS) Pringles Xtreme F1 1 pt


For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@googlemail.com, www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).



Date issued: 29/09/2010

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