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Carella leads Team Abu Dhabi to clean sweep

Italian driver wins Grand Prix of Sharjah and takes fourth world crown at 2017 UIM F1H2O World Championship

Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
Team Abu Dhabi’s Alex Carella on his way to win UIM F1H2O Grand Prix of Sharjah and also winning World Championship yesterday. The 32-year-old from Italy won his 15th Grand Prix and in the bargain pocketed his fourth world drivers’ crown.
Gulf News

Sharjah: Team Abu Dhabi’s Alex Carella led from pole to complete a total domination for his team at the season-ending Grand Prix of Sharjah at the Khalid Lagoon on Friday.

The 32-year-old from Italy who dons colours for the team that operates from the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) won his 15th Grand Prix race on his 51st start and in the bargain pocketed his fourth world drivers’ crown and tie Scott Gillman in second in the all-time record for number of world championships won.

“Starting in pole position, Carella had to ward off Victory Team’s Ahmad Al Hameli who was off to a quick start. But by the opening turn of the 45-lap race, Carella had managed to sneak past the UAE driver. ”Tweet this

Guido Cappellini, currently the manager of Team Abu Dhabi, is at the top of the standings with 10 world titles to his name.

Jonas Andersson finished in second, while Carella’s teammate Thani Al Qamzi completed the podium with third place as Team Abu Dhabi won the Teams’ Championships as well ahead of second-placed Team Sweden and third-placed CTIC China Team.

Team Abu Dhabi went on to win the Teams’ Championship as well ahead of second-placed Team Sweden and third-placed CTIC China Team.

Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) was joined by Huraiz Bin Huraiz, President of the UAE Marine Sports Federation, Nicolo di san Germano, F1 promoter, and a host of other dignitaries at the presentation of trophies at the end of the race.

“This is what we have worked for the entire season against all odds. So this win and everything that comes along with it means the world to me,” Carella told Gulf News.

“It sounds great to be a four-time world champion. I fought really hard this weekend and the work we did yesterday with taking pole helped today as I didn’t have to really fight with Philippe [Chiappe]. The good thing is that I was in complete control, but there were some nerves in the final laps and I was crossing everything that we had no problems,” he added.

Starting in pole position, Carella had to ward off Victory Team’s Ahmad Al Hameli who was off to a quick start from third place on the grid. But by the opening turn of the 45-lap race, Carella had managed to sneak past the UAE driver and build a slim 2.38 seconds lead from his challenger from the UAE.

Last year’s winner at the Grand Prix of Sharjah Victory Team’s second driver Shaun Torrente — who had flipped during morning’s free practice session — limped out of the race on the 15th lap leaving his teammate Al Hameli to chase down Carella through most of the race. But it was Carella who stayed fully in control while improving his lead to 5.54 seconds from Al Hameli while Team Sweden’s promising driver Erik Stark continued with his strong progress while staying put in third place.

Three-time defending world champion Chiappe, who needed an outright win and the hope that Carella would miss the podium, continued his struggles for the season as he fell further down in the standings slipping into eighth place.

As the race progressed, Al Hameli started losing ground to be overtaken by Andersson on the 35th lap and Team Abu Dhabi’s second driver Thani Al Qamzi by the next lap. Al Hameli couldn’t do anything further as he left the field on the 36th lap as both Victory Team boats ended a season worth forgetting.

However, in all this Chiappe started gaining ground on the front field and was soon in fourth place behind Carella, Andersson and Al Qamzi to give himself an outside chance at defending his world crown.

But that was not to be as Carella finished the race 16.03 seconds clear of Andersson while Al Qamzi came in home in third place to complete a total domination for Team Abu Dhabi this season. However, the one lap penalty saw the second Team Abu Dhabi driver finish in fourth allowing Chiappe to take the podium.

RESULTS

Grand Prix of Sharjah

1. Alex Carella (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi

2. Jonas Andersson (Sweden) Team Sweden

3. Thani Al Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi

4. Philippe Chiappe (France) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team

5. Bartek Marszalak (Poland) Blaze Performance Team

6. Peter Morin (France) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team

7. Grant Trask (Australia) F1 Atlantic Team (5)

8. Marit Stromoy Emirates Racing (Norway)

9. Rashid Al Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi

10. Duarte Benavente (Portugal) F1 Atlantic Team (1)

Standings

1. Alex Carella (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 90pts

2. Philippe Chiappe (France) CTIC 68

3. Erik Stark (Sweden) Team Sweden 49

4. Thani Al Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 41

5. Jonas Andersson (Sweden) Team Sweden 32

6. Ahmad Al Hameli (UAE) Victory Team 30

7. Sami Selio (Finland) Mad Croc Baba Racing 30

8. Shaun Torrente (USA) Victory Team 28

9. Marit Stromoy Emirates Racing (UAE) 21

10. Bartek Marszalak (Poland) Blaze Performance Team 21

11. Duarte Benavente (Portugal) F1 Atlantic Team 15

12. Peter Morin (France) CTIC 10

Teams’ Championship standings:

1. Team Abu Dhabi 133pts

2. Team Sweden 81

3. CTIC 78

4. Victory Team 58

5. Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 38

6. Emirates Racing Team 25

7. F1 Atlantic Team 24

8. Blaze Performance Team 23

9. Maverick F1 7

 

Fact Box

Grand Prix of Sharjah

1. Alex Carella (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi

2. Jonas Andersson (Sweden) Team Sweden

3. Thani Al Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi

4. Philippe Chiappe (France) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team

5. Bartek Marszalak (Poland) Blaze Performance Team

6. Peter Morin (France) CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team

7. Grant Trask (Australia) F1 Atlantic Team (5)

8. Marit Stromoy Emirates Racing (Norway)

9. Rashid Al Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi

10. Duarte Benavente (Portugal) F1 Atlantic Team (1)

Standings

1. Alex Carella (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 90pts

2. Philippe Chiappe (France) CTIC 68

3. Erik Stark (Sweden) Team Sweden 49

4. Thani Al Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 41

5. Jonas Andersson (Sweden) Team Sweden 32

6. Ahmad Al Hameli (UAE) Victory Team 30

7. Sami Selio (Finland) Mad Croc Baba Racing 30

8. Shaun Torrente (USA) Victory Team 28

9. Marit Stromoy Emirates Racing (UAE) 21

10. Bartek Marszalak (Poland) Blaze Performance Team 21

11. Duarte Benavente (Portugal) F1 Atlantic Team 15

12. Peter Morin (France) CTIC 10

Teams’ Championship standings:

1. Team Abu Dhabi 133

2. Team Sweden 81

3. CTIC 78

4. Victory Team 58

5. Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 38

6. Emirates Racing Team 25

7. F1 Atlantic Team 24

8. Blaze Performance Team 23

9. Maverick F 1 7

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