Qatars Goodman crashes out; Cappellini leads championship
The Qatar Team’s Jay Price (pictured) clinched a sensational victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Saturday moving him back into contention to retain his World Formula 1 title. He now heads to the final two Grand Prix in Sharjah next week with an excellent chance of retaking the championship.
He holds third position in the championship, second position in the Formula 1 Pole Position Championship while heading the Fast Lap Slam Trophy.
The race featured a spectacular crash between Sweden’s Jonas Andersson and Pierre Lundin and a high-speed hook by Francesco Cantando, before another collision involving Italian Guido Cappellini and Qatar’s Malcolm Goodman cost Qatar’s second driver his place in the race.
“This is an historic win for Jay and the Qatar Team,” said a Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, Head of Formula Racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF). “The whole team can be proud of this achievement. Everyone has worked hard to get the boat up to speed and Jay delivered a brilliant performance out there today. The results have definitely gone our way and we have a very good chance of retaining the world title next week. It’s going to be a very exciting few days.”
Price started the race behind Selio and in front of Cappellini with Goodman down in 15th position, but the World Champion managed to streak ahead of the Finn through the first turn and began to pull away from Cappellini and Selio. A yellow flag was raised almost immediately after a high-speed collision between Jonas Andersson and Pierre Lundin, which almost sank Lundin’s DAC.
Officials decided that the boats would need to retake their original starting order for the restart and Price was forced back into second position behind Selio. The Finn held Price off through the opening turns, as Francesco Cantando spun spectacularly out of a turn and Al-Qamzi moved up to third. Cappellini hit trouble and slipped to 12th position, but somehow managed to get back on pace again.
Through nine laps, Selio’s lead had increased to 4.3 secs and Goodman moved up to tenth position. Cappellini lost his rear cowling and the yellow flag was raised again on the tenth lap after the Italian reportedly collided with Goodman forcing him out of the race.
Before the restart, Cappellini returned to the pontoon to assess the damage to his boat and a new rear cowling was fitted. He rejoined at the rear of the field, one lap behind the leaders, when the green flag was raised again. Price got caught in Selio’s dirty water coming out of the first turn after the restart and slipped behind the leading Finn, as the Team Abu Dhabi duo settled into distant third and fourth places.
Al-Qamzi was on course for the World Championship lead again if he could maintain third position, as Selio held a 4.91 secs lead over Price after 19 laps and 12 of the 18 starters were left in the race. Al-Qamzi was forced out of the running on the 20th lap and his demise threw the title race wide open once again with Selio heading Price after 22 laps.
But Selio dramatically ground to a halt on the 23rd lap and handed the race lead and a slim championship opportunity to Price. The Qatar driver held on to take a superb sixth career F1 win and leapt into third place in the points’ standings to cap a dramatic afternoon’s racing.
2009 UIM F1 World Championship – positions after 14 of 16 races:
1. Guido Cappellini (I) Zepter Team 129 pts
2. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 119 pts
3. Jay Price (QA) F1 Team Qatar 105 pts
4. Jonas Andersson (S) Team Azerbaijan 104 pts
5. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad Croc F1 Team Woodstock 100 pts
6. Francesco Cantando (I) Singha F1 Racing Team 86 pts
7. Phillipe Chiappe (F) F1 Atlantic Team 82 pts
8. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) F1 Team Abu Dhabi 77 pts
9. Fabio Comparato (I) 800 Doctor Team 71 pts