Italian ace wins record tenth world Formula 1 championship
Italian Guido Cappellini won his 10th world title in Qatar on Friday. Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al-Qamzi finished second overall and sealed a similar position in the drivers’ standings while British driver Malcolm Goodman ended his sixth GP race with the Qatar Team in eighth slot to collect three championship points to fill 17th on the title table .
On the eve of his birthday, defending champion Jay Price began the race slotted in between Selio and Al-Hameli knowing he had to win with Cappellini finishing no higher than seventh. It was a tall order and a good start was crucial. It was cool and damp in Khalid Lagoon, as Thursday’s accident damage kept Phillipe Chiappe and Fabio Comparato out of the race.
Price made a slow start and allowed Selio to take the line into the first corner, but the yellow flag was raised immediately when Al-Hameli spectacularly flipped over and Price slid wide, rolled and damaged the air bag system and rear cowling on his DAC outfit. The air bag had not activated and the defending World Champion managed to stay in second position, minus his rear engine cowling. The race was restarted in slightly windier conditions.
A quick visit to the pontoon seconds before the green flag cost Price his position and he in sixth place. He climbed back to fifth before Marco Gambi’s stoppage on the course forced a second yellow flag situation. But the lack of a rear cowling had caused terminal engine problems and forced Price out of the race before the second restart.
Selio began to pull away and head into the distance, but Cappellini and Al-Qamzi became involved in a heated tussle for second position. The Italian led by just over one second after 12 laps, as Goodman climbed to seventh overall for the Qatar Team, the Briton benefiting from a new engine in his Dragon boat for the final race of the year. Al-Qamzi eventually passed Cappellini into second position and Goodman passed Fabian Kalsow into sixth overall.
The top three were processional through the middle section of the race, as Cappellini eased his pace to take the strain off his engine. Selio and Al-Qamzi were untroubled in first and second positions. Goodman’s potential sixth finishing position ended on lap 35 but he was eventually classified eighth at the finish.
The top three held station through the final two laps, with Selio taking outright victory and third in the Drivers’ Championship, Al-Qamzi secured second position and a jubilant Cappellini finished third to secure the world title for a record tenth time