Finnish driver, Sami Selio, out to repeat his 2007 championship success
Sweden’s Jonas Andersson, the winner of last year’s Qatar Grand Prix, will take a slender four-point lead in the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship into Friday and Saturday’s 11th and 12th rounds of the series in Doha Bay.
While the Qatar Team’s Jay Price (pictured) would dearly like to thrill crowds lining the demanding course with his first-ever home race win and his sixth Formula 1 Grand Prix triumph in two years, the priority for the QMSF driver is to remain in title contention.
Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al-Qamzi will also be hoping to lay the ghost of last year’s Doha engine woes to rest. The Emirati is Andersson’s closest challenger after ten races and, like Price, has suffered his own fair share of cruel luck this season.
Finland’s Sami Selio won the world title in 2007 and has shot into title contention over the last two rounds, the Finn taking a win at both the Liuzhou and Shenzhen race meetings in an impressive 49-point haul, where Price only amassed 15 points and Al-Qamzi claimed 23.
The record-breaking Italian Guido Cappellini also launched himself back into the title race with a win in Shenzhen and a second in Liuzhou, proving the world championship is the closest series in the UIM’s armoury.
Eighteen drivers, including Qatar’s debutant Malcolm Goodman, are expected to line-up at the start of the first Doha race tomorrow (Friday) afternoon and the title contenders know that the pressure is on with a possible 120 points available over the course of the next three race meetings in Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
The Qatar Team faced a race against time to prepare their two race boats and all the equipment for the start of the free practice session on Friday morning. The boat containing the race boats, spares and the team’s hospitality tent and covered working area was scheduled to dock in Doha shortly after nightfall on Thursday evening.
“It shouldn’t be a problem,” said Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, Head of Formula Racing at the QMSF. “The team is briefed and ready to go. Even if we have to work through the night to get ready we will do that. Brendan (Power) tells me that we can get the boats ready in about three hours from receiving the spares so we should be okay and race officials have been very understanding of the situation.”