Dubai: Victory Team’s Ahmad Al Hameli has predicted that no one is going to have it easy heading into the Grand Prix of Sharjah - the final round on the 2017 UIM F1H2O World Championship at the Khalid Lagoon this weekend.
Al Hameli lies in wait tied in fourth overall along with Finland’s Sami Selio – whose dramatic crash at the Abu Dhabi breakwater last weekend has thrown his start in Sharjah in doubt – with 30 points each. Three-time world defending champion Philippe Chiappe won his ninth career race in Abu Dhabi and cut down the lead from Team Abu Dhabi’s Alex Carella to eleven points.
The 52-year-old French driver is in second with 59 points, while his Italian opponent is at the summit with 70 points. Team Sweden’s Erik Stark, who came in fourth while adding a vital seven points, took his tally to 49 points for third place overall in the drivers’ standings.
“Nothing is going to be easy for anyone in Sharjah,” Al Hameli told Gulf News heading into the final race on the picturesque Khalid Lagoon.
“We have a fantastic team backing us and we will be all out for a win, irrelevant of what happens to the rest of the field. We need to win this one and take the good results into next season,” he added.
Much of the work needs to be done by the CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team driver Chiappe as he has to register an outright win in Sharjah and at the same time hope Carella doesn’t come in either second or third. “These calculations really do not worry us. Ideally I would want a one-two finish for our Victory Team. We have been testing our boats and coming up with the best possible set-up ever since we finished the XCAT Championships. We’ve put in a lot of hard work and hopefully all this will come together by the time we start racing in Sharjah,” Al Hameli hoped.
Action will get under way at the Khalid Lagoon with a free practice session from 3pm on Wednesday followed by a second session at 10.15am on Thursday. The BRM official qualifying will be held the same day from 3.30 pm and the Grand Prix of Sharjah will be held from 3.30 pm on Friday.