F1 Team Abu Dhabi keeps powder dry as Victory Team seals 1-2 in extra free practice


Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, UAE – December 6-8


· Rashed Al-Remeithi to join Mohammed Al-Mehairbi in second F4 Trophy entry

ABU DHABI (UAE): Thursday, December 6: Teams got their first taste of the five-pin race course that will host this weekend’s Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi in a 90-minute free practice session on Thursday afternoon.

Team Abu Dhabi’s trio of Shaun Torrente, Erik Stark and Thani Al-Qemzi have tested effectively in recent days and decided to sit out an opening session where Ahmed Al-Hameli of the Victory Team clocked the fastest lap of 43.93sec to claim the session win from four-time World Champion and team-mate Alex Carella.

Only a handful of drivers took to the water in the opening 30 minutes of the session and Peter Morin of the CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team carded the target lap of 44.27sec. He went on to finish the stint in fifth place behind third-placed Marit Strømøy of the Emirates Racing Team and Team Amaravati’s Jonas Andersson. Finland’s Filip Roms complained of a water leak from his BaBa’s engine.

The 26th race to be held in the UAE capital is being hosted by the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC). Team Abu Dhabi drivers Shaun Torrente, Erik Stark and Thani Al-Qemzi are locked in a three-way battle for the Drivers’ Championship with Torrente holding a seven-point cushion over Stark heading into the weekend.

Salem Al-Remeithi, board member and general manager of the ADIMSC, said: “To be honest we have a lot of pressure on us and the team. I hope that the team can keep leading after this race and then we can see what happens in Sharjah. Then we can make our people happy. Thani (Al-Qemzi) has a good chance to win the race and create his own piece of history. We have achieved something amazing this season and look as though we have the Teams’ Championship again. I just hope that we have the three Abu Dhabi drivers in contention this weekend and then in Sharjah.”

Team Abu Dhabi’s on-event team manager Guido Cappellini added: “We are facing two very hard days. They are the most important days of the season. But the team has been working very good in the last few months and everything is perfect, insha’allah, for a beautiful day on Saturday. The Teams’ title is very close, but it is not yet finished. Fortunately, the three top drivers are Team Abu Dhabi drivers. I don’t know what the result will be, but everyone has the same opportunity to arrive in the first position.

“Maybe I decide the strategy after the Time Trials. Then we can look at the best strategy for the race. As we know n Arab driver has never won this race in 25 years and we are working hard to give Thani the best chance possible to do this.”

F4 Trophy drivers were permitted on to the course at the end of the free practice session for their own shakedown. Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Remeithi and Victory Team’s new recruit Ali Allanjawi joined the championship regulars, with Team Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Al-Mehairbi hoping to overtake Germany’s Max Stilz in the two races on Friday and Saturday.

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 and under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, Vice-President and CEO of the ADIMSC.

Spectators are welcome to attend at the Abu Dhabi Corniche free of charge on Friday and Saturday. The ADIMSC has laid on trade stalls, refreshments and catering stands, childrens’ and family activities and live entertainment to entertain the crowds between the races.

2018 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi – extra free practice times (Thursday):
1. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Victory Team 43.63sec
2. Alex Carella (ITA) Victory Team 43.68sec
3. Marit Strømøy (NOR) Emirates Racing Team 44.00sec
4. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Amaravati 44.03sec
5. Peter Morin (FRA) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team 44.19sec
6. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 45.25sec
7. Bartek Marszalak (POL) Emirates Racing Team 45.30sec
8. Erik Edin (SWE) Team Amaravati 45.44sec
9. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Blaze F1 Team 45.48sec
10. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 Atlantic Team 46.05sec
11. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Tea 46.67sec
12. Cédric Deguisne (FRA) Maverick F1 Team 47.54sec
13. Simone Schuft (DEU) Blaze F1 Team 52.26sec
14. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 56.28sec
Grant Trask (AUS) F1 Atlantic Team DNS
Erik Stark (SWE) Team Abu Dhabi DNS
Shaun Torrente (USA) Team Abu Dhabi DNS
Thani Al-Qemzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi DNS
Sutthipan Sookbuangbon (THI) Maverick F1 Team DNS

Timetable of events
Friday, December 7

09.10-09.30 F4 free practice
09.40-10.00 F4 time trials
10.15-11.15 F1 free practice
14.00 F4 race 1
15.30 BRM F1 qualifying

Saturday, December 8
09.10-09.30 F4 free practice
09.40-10.00 F4 time trials
10.15-11.15 F1 free practice
14.00 F4 race 2
15.30 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi


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: 06/12/2018

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