Andy Elliott to partner defending world champion

English veteran Andy Elliott (pictured) has been chosen to join defending Formula 1 world champion, Jay Price, when the Qatar Team heads for the Finnish Grand Prix in Lahti on June 12-13, the second round of the 2009 series.

This answers the lingering question of who would replace last year’s team-mate to Jay. Local Qatar driver Yousef Al Khulaifi was forced to step down after family issues saw him shift his attention away from the racing circuit at the start of the Formula 1 season in April.

His sudden departure from the Portuguese Grand Prix saw Italian Leo Bonelli temporarily replace Yousef but a more permanent solution was sought by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation and Elliott was chosen.

“I am really excited about having Andy join the organization,” said the World Champion. “I’ve known him since were “pups” racing in America back in 1986. I first met him at Lake Charles near my home town when Mercury Marine brought him over from Europe. He had been doing well in F3 and they saw him as a future star in the sport. I’ve been joking with him ever since I heard he was going to join me because now I am once again the “junior member” of the team Andy being the eldest. He’s got a few Formula 1 wins under his belt and he knows what the sport is all about. He’ll definitely make our team stronger in 2009.”

The driver from Bracknell, England, competed on the world championship circuit for the first time in 1990 almost winning the title. He finished runner-up to the late John Hill with the deciding race being the final event of the season in Singapore where he finished second, losing the title by a mere three points.

2009 will mark his 18th season in Formula 1. He has been among the top five in the Drivers’ Championship on three occasions although he didn’t race2008.

Elliott has become champion in almost every level of power boat racing except Formula 1. He was the T2 World Champion from 1981 to 1983 before moving over to Formula 3 taking the titles in 1984, 1987 and 1989.

Andy Elliott will be making his 136th career start in Formula 1 in Finland after finishing fourth in the second half of the Portuguese GP after failing to finish the first race. He now lies seventh in the current championship with nine points.

During his career Andy has made 135 starts with two wins, one second place, four third’s, seven podiums, 27 retirements due to mechanical failure and three accidents. He has accumulated 249.5 points in his 17 years of racing on the Formula 1 World Championship Tour.