x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Team Abu Dhabi pair target the podium at Grand Prix of China

Team manager Salem Al Rumaithi says nothing has been left to chance for Sunday's race on Liu River.

Salem Al Rumaithi, the Team Abu Dhabi manager, said nothing has been left to chance ahead of Sunday's Grand Prix of China as the UIM F1 H20 team's season hangs in the balance with four races to go.

Thani Al Qamzi, third in the championship, struggled to seventh at the previous race in Ukraine in July and now trails leader Jay Price by 32 points.

Al Rumaithi, though, is hopeful of a resurgent title challenge on the Liu River in Liuzhou, following their preparations in Abu Dhabi under the eyes of race team manager Scott Gillman.

"The team has been training in Abu Dhabi beforehand on a course that simulated the path of the route course in Liuzhou," Al Rumaithi said. "Scott Gillman, our race team manager, is in Liuzhou, and nothing has been left to chance in the preparation of the boats and a spare race boat."

While Al Qamzi had a disappointing race last time out, his Abu Dhabi teammate, Ahmed Al Hameli, dominated in Ukraine, with a start-to-finish victory, and capped it off by winning the President's Cup that followed the main race.

Both pilots have had their share of misfortune this season, notably Al Hameli with mechanical problems and a race suspension, but Al Rumaithi is confident that China can be the grand prix to see both on the podium when reliability runs in their favour.

"Obviously our goal is to win the race outright," Al Rumaithi said. "There are still four races to run and that means a possible 80 points available. It is still all to play for."

The three-stage qualification process begins on Saturday at 3pm (11am UAE) with Sunday's race starting at 4pm.