x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Al Hameli is in pole position for title

The Team Abu Dhabi driver has a 32-point lead and qualifying fourth or higher in time trials will confirm the Emirati as the fastest in the series.

Ahmed al Hameli needs only to qualify in the top four this weekend to clinch the 2010 UIM F1 Pole Posiiton Championship. 
Paul Lakatos / Idea Marketing
Ahmed al Hameli needs only to qualify in the top four this weekend to clinch the 2010 UIM F1 Pole Posiiton Championship. Paul Lakatos / Idea Marketing

Team Abu Dhabi's Ahmed al Hameli can be crowned the fastest powerboat driver in the 2010 UIM F1 World Championship on home waters tomorrow.

A qualifying place of fourth or higher in the time trials for Saturday's Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi will be enough to clinch the 2010 UIM F1 Pole Position Championship for the Emirati.

Al Hameli has a 32-point lead in the points standings.

Qatar's Jay Price and Finland's Sami Selio both have 62 points and even a pair of wins by either driver in qualifying in Abu Dhabi or in Sharjah on Thursday week would not be enough to prevent al Hameli confirming that he has been the fastest driver in the series this season should he qualify in the top four.

And there is still a chance that Thani al Qamzi, his teammate, could make it a celebration for the Abu Dhabi team by becoming the first Arab driver to win the bigger prize of the F1 world title.

The Emirati lies in fifth position in the drivers' championship standings and trails Price by 19 points with a maximum 40 available from the remaining two UAE races.

But he must rely on Price failing to finish among the leaders this weekend and then hope results go his way in the last race of the season.

Even so, al Qamzi will be determined to delight his home crowd in Abu Dhabi and make up for the shattering disappointment of last weekend in Doha when engine problems wrecked his chances of a podium finish in the Grand Prix of Qatar.

But both drivers will be encouraged by the way they raced in Doha.

Al Hameli arrived back in the UAE fresh from finishing an excellent fourth in a race in which the Emirati staged a superb fight through the field from a starting position of 16th on the grid.

Al Qamzi finished sixth last weekend from a starting position of 18th and was looking good for a place on the podium before his problems.

Organisers are hoping for a bumper crowd in the capital this weekend.

"It was a carefully made decision to host the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at this time of year," said Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa, chairman of the board of directors at the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) which is hosting the event.

"We are hopeful that a large crowd will support the race on the Abu Dhabi Breakwater on Saturday.

"There are no limits to the returns and the benefits of hosting this race.

"It is an excellent way of promoting tourism in the emirate with the arrival of drivers and media from all over the world."

After registration and technical scrutineering today at the ADIMSC, competitive action gets under-way on the race course from 9.20am tomorrow with the first free practice session for the F-4S boats. They will then take part in the first of the time trials from 9.50am and the F1 drivers will take to the water for practice from 10.30am.

After the F-4S race at 1.30pm, the F1 time trials start at 3pm.

Saturday's competitive timetable starts with F-4S free practice at 9.15am and F1 free practice from 10.30am. The second of the weekend's F-4S races takes place at 1.30pm and the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi will start at 3.30pm.


UIM F1 Pole Position Championship

Driver Team Points

1. Ahmed al Hameli Team Abu Dhabi 94 pts 2. Jay Price Qatar F1 Team 62 pts

2. Sami Selio Team Mad Croc 62 pts 4. Francesco Cantando Singha F1 Racing Team 56 pts

5. Alex Carella Team Mad Croc 45 pts 6. Phillipe Chiappe CTIC China Team 20 pts

7. Thani al Qamzi Team Abu Dhabi 17 pts 8. Fabio Comparato 88 Doctor 14 pts