x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Ready to make waves as al Hameli seals title

Al Hameli clinches the Pole Position Championship with fourth place in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.

A boat is lowered to the water by the breakwater opposite the Corniche in Abu Dhabi before an F1 qualifying race yesterday.  The main race is this afternoon.
A boat is lowered to the water by the breakwater opposite the Corniche in Abu Dhabi before an F1 qualifying race yesterday. The main race is this afternoon.

Fourth place on the grid in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi proved to be enough for Ahmed al Hameli to seal the 2010 UIM F1 Pole Position Championship title yesterday.

The Team Abu Dhabi driver was unable to put a perfect lap together on the 2.6km, eight-point course at the Breakwater, setting a lap time of 50.52secs, but the points he earned for his display in the time trial ensured he cannot be beaten in the championship.

He now has 103, with his nearest rival, Sami Selio, 21 points adrift.

The Emirati said: "It would have been nice to claim pole position for the race on Saturday.

"But I now have the Pole Position Championship under my belt and will be able to enjoy the race without any pressure."

The Emirati driver was embroiled in a thrilling showdown with the Team Mad Croc duo of Selio and Alex Carella and Jay Price, the championship leader, for pole position.

Price led early in the third session, only to be overhauled by Carella and then a last-minute "wonder lap" by Selio claimed pole with a time of 50.29.

Al Hameli finished fourth, while his teammate Team Abu Dhabi colleague Thani al Qamzi qualified sixth for today's race.

The grid promises to produce an exciting race, with proceedings due to start at 3pm.

Selio is one of three drivers locked in joint second in the drivers' championship on 59 points, and is ideally placed on pole to close the gap on Price, who leads the championship by nine points.

But Price can strengthen his position at the top with victory himself, ahead of the final round of the championship, which is to be held in Sharjah on December 10.

Al Hameli, who is in fifth place in the title standings, 19 points behind Price, has a remote chance of being champion, but has to win in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah and hope for the four drivers ahead of him in the standings to have bad luck.

* Agency