Abu Dhabi: Team Abu Dhabi’s Shaun Torrente maintained his overall lead in the 2019 UIM F1H2O World Championship with a battling performance to finish second in the Grand Prix of France on Sunday.

After starting in fourth position, reigning world champion Torrente produced a determined bid to claim his ninth Grand Prix win before finally being edged out by Sweden’s Jonas Andersson by 1.97 seconds.

With Thani Al Qamzi also climbing two places from the start to take the third podium place, Team Abu Dhabi tightened their grip on the overall F1 team championship, which they won so convincingly last year.

There was drama on the 14th lap when France’s three-time former world champion Phillipe Chiappe, enjoying a seven-second lead over Andersson after a flying start from pole position, was halted by mechanical problems.

Moments later, the race was yellow-flagged after another Frenchman, Cedric Deguisne, turned his boat over, and from the restart Torrente had Team Amaravati’s new leader, Andersson, in his sights and kept the pressure on all the way to the finish.

Torrent said at the finish: “I pushed hard to try and force Jonas into a mistake, while making sure I didn’t make any mistakes myself to stay ahead in the championship.”

Torrente was fourth fastest and Al Qemzi fifth when the qualifying session postponed from Saturday was run in better condition on Lac Leman today, with just 0.9 secs separating the top six.

Standings (Drivers):

1. Shaun Torrente (35pts)

2. Jonas Andersson (32pts)

3. Thani Al Qamzi (27pts)

4. Peter Morin (16pts)

5. Marit Stromoy (16pts)

Team standings:

1. Team Abu Dhabi (62pts)

2. Team Amaravati (32pts)

3. Emirates Racing (24pts)

4. CTIC F1 Shenzhen China (16pts)