F1 Team Abu Dhabi's Carella locked in five-way duel for world title


Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi – December 7-9


· Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club to host penultimate round of F1 H2O series this weekend
· Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Qamzi takes 36-point lead in F4-S Trophy into pair of Abu Dhabi races

ABU DHABI (UAE): Monday, December 5: The Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) is putting the final touches together in readiness to host the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, the penultimate round of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship, on December 7-9.

This will be the 23rd time that the club has hosted a round of the prestigious championship, where five of the world’s finest drivers are in with a chance of claiming this year’s title on a challenging course off the Abu Dhabi Breakwater. Team Abu Dhabi is chasing a fifth championship triumph and a first since 2006. All eyes will focus on three-time World Champion, Alex Carella, who is flying the flag for the UAE capital alongside experienced teammate Thani Al-Qamzi.

Carella lies fourth in the points’ standings after races in Dubai, Evian, Porto, Harbin and Liuzhou and knows that nothing short of a victory on home waters will be enough to keep him in title contention. The Italian has 42 points and trails the French series-leading double World Champion Philippe Chiappe by 25 points. Twenty are available to the winner in Abu Dhabi, 15 for second place and 12 for third, etc.

”I have been in Abu Dhabi several weeks getting everything ready and leaving nothing to chance,” said a focused Carella. “We have been testing, working on the boats and spending time together to create that team spirit that we will need this weekend. I was able to join Faleh (Al-Mansoori) in an XCAT as well and we won the Abu Dhabi Cup two weeks ago. That was different to F1 in many ways, but it kept me in tune with what is required in a race boat and the balance of the boat was similar to what I can expect this week. Victory is a must. I just have to win this race.”

Etihad Airways is the official carrier for Team Abu Dhabi that is also supported by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and runs under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, advisor to the Head of State and chairman of the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC). The racing team runs under the auspices of the ADIMSC, racing manager Guido Cappellini and assistant general manager Salem Al-Romeithi.

American Shaun Torrente is Chiappe’s closest challenger and trails the CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team driver by 13 points. Sami Selio of Finland is a double World Champion and holds third on 47 points, while fifth-placed Jonas Andersson still has a mathematical chance of snatching the title if he can claim maximum points from the final two races in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah on December 15-16. Twenty drivers are expected to start the race, including the young Australian Grant Trask, who will be making his F1 debut with the EMIC Racing Team.

Rashed Al-Qamzi leads the 2016 UIM F4-S Championship by a commanding 36 points from Dutchman Ferdinand Zandbergen and two podium finishes in the pair of F4-S races on Thursday and Friday afternoon could be sufficient for the Emirati to clinch the world title with two races to spare. Al-Qamzi has taken three wins from eight starts this season already and has been testing and working hard to be fully prepared for his home races. Mohammed Al-Mehairbi drives the second F4-S boat.

“Hopefully I can win the championship at home,” said Al-Qamzi, after watching the action at the recent UIM Class 1 World Championship. “I am ready, we have tested the boat and I feel confident that I have the speed to win both the races and secure the championship. I will do my best.”

The ADIMSC has laid on excellent facilities for spectators and racing enthusiasts. There will be a grandstand with seating for first class viewing of the action, in addition to a traditional tent exhibition, a DJ and music, a kids’ play zone and a food court with activities running from 11am to 10pm.

Technical scrutineering and extra free practice get the timetable underway on Wednesday and the meat of the action starts on Thursday morning with further free practice and time trials. The first of the two F4-S races starts at 2pm and is followed by BRM pole position qualifying at 3.30pm.

Additional practice and F4-S time trials on Friday morning precede the second of the F4-S races, starting at 2pm. The 2016 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi fires into life at 15.30pm.

Timetable of events
Wednesday, December 7

08.10-15.00 Technical scrutineering
15.00-17.00 Extra free practice

Thursday, December 8
09.10 F4-S free practice
09.40 F4-S time trials
10.15 F1 free practice
14.00 F4-S race 1
15.30 BRM F1 qualifying

Friday, December 9
09.10 F4-S free practice
09.40 F4-S time trials
10.15 F1 free practice
14.00 F4-S race 2
15.30 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

2016 UIM F1H2O World Championship – Drivers’ Championship standings:
1. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team 67 pts
2. Shaun Torrente (USA) Victory Team 54 pts
3. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad Croc Baba Racing 47 pts
4. Alex Carella (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 42 pts
5. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 37 pts
6. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Emirates Racing Team 25 pts
7. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 Atlantic Team 19 pts
7. Erik Stark (SWE) Emirates Racing Team 19 pts
9. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad Croc Baba Racing 18 pts, etc

2016 UIM F4-S Trophy – latest positions:
1. Rashed Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 126 pts
2. Ferdinand Zandbergen (NLD) Baba Racing 90 pts
3. Kalle Viippo (FIN) Team Sweden 62 pts
3. Jeremy Brisset (FRA) F1 Atlantic Team 62 pts
5. Mohamed Al-Yamahi (UAE) Victory Team 55 pts
6. Bingchen Wu (CHN) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team 50 pts
7. Mohammed Al-Mehairbi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 44 pts
8. Tom Chiappe (FRA) EMIC Racing Team 37 pts
9. Magnus Sederholm (FIN) Team Sweden 35 pts
10. Paolo Longhi (ITA) Blaze Performance Team 16 pts
11. Ali Bin Shaiban (UAE) Emirates Racing Team 15 pts
- Ends -

For further media information and information about Team Abu Dhabi:
Please contact: Khalid Al Saadi, Media Incharge, Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, P.O. Box 45656, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Mobile Telephone: + 971 50 768 6761, E-mail: alsaadi@adimsc.ae.



Date issued: 05/12/2016

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