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.
A focused Carella said;
I have been in Abu Dhabi several weeks getting everything ready and leaving nothing to chance.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.
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.
Timetable of events
Wednesday, December 7
08.10-15.00 Technical scrutineering
15.00-17.00 Extra free practice
Thursday, December 8
10.15 F1 free practice
15.30 BRM F1 qualifying
Friday, December 9
10.15 F1 free practice
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