F1 Qatar's Price on the verge of repeating historic World Championship triumph
2010 UIM F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, UAE – December 2-4, round 7 of 8
For immediate release
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
QATAR’S PRICE ON THE VERGE OF REPEATING
HISTORIC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TRIUMPH
· Andy Elliott looking to overcome engine woes in Abu Dhabi
· Qatar’s Al-Shamlan aims to build upon Doha F-4S race results
ABU DHABI (UAE): History may well repeat itself this weekend in the United Arab Emirates. Two years ago, Jay Price and the Qatar Team arrived in Abu Dhabi for the penultimate round of the prestigious UIM F1 World Championship with a commanding 36-point lead in the series over Sweden’s Jonas Andersson and a 38-point advantage over then defending champion Sami Selio.
The 2008 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi was the biggest event in Price’s career and the most important to that date for the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), which runs under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani. Price earned the four points he needed to seal the World Championship title by taking a sensational start-to-finish victory and 20 championship points.
The situation is not as clear-cut this time around and the Qatar Team arrived in the UAE this week with Price holding a nine-point lead in the 2010 UIM F1 World Drivers’ Championship. Mathematically Price could claim his second world title after the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi on Saturday afternoon, but he knows that a podium finish and even a race victory may not be enough.
Behind him is a three-way tie for second position between the Team Mad Croc duo of Italy’s Alex Carella and old adversary Selio and Italy’s Francesco Cantando. Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al-Qamzi is also in the hunt to become the first Arab driver to claim the world title and lies 19 points behind Price in the points’ standings.
Victory for Price in Saturday’s race – he will be chasing a hat-trick of wins in Abu Dhabi after winning in 2009 as well – may be sufficient for him to win the title provided that Carella, Selio or Cantando finish no higher than fifth overall and collect no more than seven points. Second position would be enough if the trio finished no higher than eighth overall and third could well see Price crowned as World Champion if he scored 12 points for third position and none of his other four rivals reach the end of the race.
Being realistic, Price knows that a podium finish would be a perfect springboard for him to seal the World Championship title in Sharjah the following weekend and wrap up another superb year’s racing for the QMSF.
“Knowing Jay as I do he will be going flat for the win if it is possible,” admitted Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the QMSF. “There will be pressure on every one of the team to perform well, because we are leading the championship and are there to be beaten. We have a good driver, a great team, good mechanics, good management and a great boat, so we are in the driving seat.”
Andy Elliott endured cruel luck in last weekend’s Grand Prix of Qatar. Engine failures cost the second Qatar Team driver any chance to impress and he failed to add to his points’ tally for the season. Elliott hopes to have found a little engine reliability before the weekend.
Qatar’s rookie Khalid Saleh Al-Shamlan finished sixth and fourth in last weekend’s two UIM F-4S races. He has already shown a great improvement in his first year in the spotlight and now holds fifth in the F-4S Drivers’ Championship. Al-Shamlan is enjoying his foray into F-4S, although he will be hard-pushed to prevent Sweden’s Oskar Samuelsson sealing the F-4S title this weekend.
Tomorrow (Thursday) teams attend technical scrutineering and registration, before the on-course action starts with free practice for the F-4S boats from 08.20hrs (Qatar time) on Friday morning. Price will be able to take to the water for the first time for his practice stint from 09.30hrs (Qatar time) and the timed trials start at 14.00hrs (Qatar time) after the first of the two F-4S races.
Price will have to wait until Saturday to see if he can seal a second world title. F-4S drivers have their second free practice and timed trials on Saturday morning and the second of their races starts at 12.30hrs (Qatar time). The F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi fires into life at 14.30hrs (Qatar time).
2010 UIM F1 World Drivers’ Championship – standings after round 6
1. Jay Price (QA) Qatar F1 Team 68 pts
2. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Racing Team 59 pts
2. Alex Carella (I) Team Mad Croc 59 pts
2. Sami Selio (FIN) Team Mad Croc 59 pts
5. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 49 pts
6. Pierre Lundin (S) CTIC China Team 33 pts
7. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 29 pts
8. Phillipe Chiappe (F) CTIC China Team 19 pts
9. Tim Seebold (USA) Team Skydive Dubai 16 pts
10. Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan 13 pts
11. Fabio Comparato (I) 800 Doctor 13 pts
12. Davide Padovan (I) Rainbow Team 12 pts
13. Fabian Kalsow (D) F1 Atlantic Team 11 pts
14. Duarte Benavente (P) F1 Atlantic Team 10 pts
15. Andy Elliott (GB) Qatar F1 Team 7 pts
15. Marit Stromoy (N) Team Azerbaijan 7 pts
2010 UIM F1 Pole Position Championship – standings after round 6
1. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 94 pts
2. Jay Price (QA) Qatar Team 62 pts
2. Sami Selio (FIN) Team Mad Croc 62 pts
4. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Racing Team 56 pts
5. Alex Carella (I) Team Mad Croc 45 pts
6. Phillipe Chiappe (F) CTIC China Team 20 pts
7. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 17 pts
8. Fabio Comparato (I) 88 Doctor 14 pts
9. Duarte Benavente (P) F1 Atlantic Team 12 pts
10. Pierre Lundin (S) CTIC China Team 9 pts
11. Davide Padovan (I) Rainbow Team 7 pts
12. Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan 5 pts
12. Marit Stromoy (N) Team Ajzerbaijan 5 pts
2010 UIM F-4S Championship – standings after race 5
1. Oskar Samuelsson (S) Team Rainbow 92 pts
2. Bimba Sjoholm (S) Team Azerbaijan 58 pts
3. David Del Pin (I) Team 800 Doctor 57 pts
4. Filip Roms (FIN) Team Mad Croc 47 pts
5. Khalid Saleh Al-Shamlan (QA) Qatar Team 30 pts
6. Stefan Hagin (D) Team Atlantic 24 pts
7. Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 19 pts
8. Rashid Al-Tayer (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 16 pts
9. Xiong Ziwei (CHN) Team China 15 pts
10. Kristoffer Fjelde (N) Team Singha 12 pts
11. Matthew Palfreyman (GB) Team Nautica 11 pts
12. Tobias Munthe-Kaas (N) Team Singha 2 pts
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