Nine time Italian world Formula I champion dominates Finnish Grand Prix

Nine time world Formula 1 champion Guido Cappellini of Italy proved he can still control a race when he won the Finnish Grand Prix held on Lake Vesijarvi on Sunday

It was the first time in five years that a round of the Formula I championship has been held in Finland: an event the Italian ace from Como has never won. Cappellini dominated the event after fighting off and early challenge from fellow Italian Francesco Cantando but this was short-lived after Cantando launched off a rogue wave and crashed on the third lap.

¨It was one of the three toughest races I’ve ever run in my 152 starts, said Cappellini. ¨We have now shaken our bad luck and look forward to next weekend in St. Petersburg, Russia.¨

The race was delayed ten minutes due to wave conditions before the green flag sent the 22 contenders out on the circuit only to be stopped three laps later when Cantando crashed. The restart saw Ahmad Al Hameli and Thani Al Qamzi take up the chase for the next 40 laps until American Jay Price slotted in to second place.

Price had an incredible run from lying 18th at the start and then slowly moving up to sixth, setting the fasted lap time in the process, before colliding with Russian driver, Stanislav Kourtsenovsky, at the fifth turning marker.

The American was penalised one lap for failing to give way which sent him to the back of the fleet. He then set another spectacular performance to finally finish a mere second behind winner Cappellini at the end of the 55 lap contest.

¨My crew did a great job preparing the boat for the mission today,¨ said Jay. ¨I thought I had a shot of victory but when you are behind the lead driver it’s tough to get a clean line to pass. Guido did a great job holding the line but second place still gives me my third straight podium of the season.¨

The win by Cappellini and the third placing by Ahmad Al Hameli gives both drivers a total 27 points and second place on the championship table while Price now has 50.

The fourth Round of the 2008 U.I.M. F1 World Championship moves on to St. Petersburg, Russia for the 7th Grand Prix of Russia on Saturday, June 14. It will mark the first time in nine years the series has come back Russia and also the first time in Formula I history that a race will be held during night hours.