Dubai: London and Amravati in India will be among the three new destinations on the 2018 UIM F1 H2O World Championship.
Nicolo Di San Germano, President of H2O Racing, the promoters of F1 H2O, told Gulf News that while London has been confirmed as one of three new venues for the 2018 world championship, they are still in the process of putting final touches to an agreement for a race in India for the first time since the inaugural event held in Mumbai way back in 2004.
The Italian also said that another venue, most likely in the Gulf region, may be added after all discussions have been concluded.
London was confirmed as a host for 2018 following discussions in September this year, while the H2O Racing delegation already have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in place with the Government of Andhra Pradesh led by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
The race in India will be held sometime in November, after which the boats will travel to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah for the final two rounds of the season.
London will make its return to the Formula 1 powerboat racing fold for the first time in 33 years with the promoters deciding to host a round at the iconic Royal Victoria Docks from June 15-17.
The round on the 2018 UIM F1 H2O calendar will be organised by H2O Racing in close collaboration with Chinese Sports Promotions Company, Tianrong Sports. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has also come on board for the event.
“London has been sorted out and they will host one of our races for 2018,” San Germano told Gulf News on the sidelines of the Grand Prix of Sharjah, the season-finale on the 2017 calendar at the Khalid Lagoon on Friday.
“We’ve next got to deal with the finer modalities on getting Amaravati finalised and hopefully we will be in a position to make further headway in our talks with one of the Gulf venues during this week,” he added.
The 2017 season witnessed just six races starting off in Algarve (Portugal), onward to Evian (France) and then the double-header in China at Liuzhou and Harbin followed by the customary final two rounds in the UAE. “Next year we want to have at least eight or nine races so that there is an added intensity among teams and drivers during the entire season. Also, when you have more races there is an added value in the fact that drivers have space to recover from mistakes made,” San Germano pointed.
“We are hopeful of moving in the right direction with our sport. We have doing this for the past 34 years now and we have established ourselves and our brand as one of the top classes in powerboat racing. For sure, 2018 will be much better,” he said.
2018 tentative calendar
Round 1: Arabian Gulf
Round 2: Algarve, Portugal
Round 3: Evian, France
Round 4: London, UK
Round 5: Liuzhou, China
Round 6: Harbin, China
Round 7: Amaravati, India
Round 8: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Round 9: Sharjah, UAE