As the twenty-one drivers assemble for the fourth round of the 2019 UIM F2 World Championship all eyes are naturally drawn to one in particular, Rashed Al Qemzi, who starts the weekend with a thirty-point advantage over his rivals and perhaps one hand already on the trophy.
The quietly spoken Emirati knows exactly what his team want and after spending some time back home in the UAE he feels he can deliver a repeat of last years result.
We have the same course to race on with the same boat and engine package and now we need the same result as twelve months ago
said Al Qemzi.
If I’m honest I would prefer to win the title here in Portugal, but I know I have the luxury of another chance of winning it back home if things don’t go to plan.
Keeping an eye on the proceedings is the multiple World Champion Guido Cappellini, Team Abu Dhabi’s Racing Manager who knows all too well from his days sat in the cockpit that occasionally things don’t go to plan. He once only needed to finish in seventh place to claim the world championship only for an electrical fault to thwart his title chances.
Of course, winning the UIM F2 World Championship is our goal
but at the same time we are not going to take any risks this weekend. We must use our brain, so that means we have worked out all the combinations and we have even considered bad weather forcing a cancellation but I’m not here not to race.
Depending on other drivers fortunes, Al Qemzi may not need a top three finish to become champion for a second time, although he will be targeting a third Grand Prix race victory in a season which has already seen him complete one world powerboat championship triumph. Earlier in the year he was part of the four-man Team Abu Dhabi crew who secured the UIM World Endurance Championship with victories in both Rouen and Augustów.
Both Cappellini and Al Qemzi will tell you that any form of success is all down to a combination of rigorous testing, thorough preparation and a small amount of good fortune. The great Italian racer Molinari once told Cappellini ‘that you win the race before you arrive at the venue’ and perhaps this weekend they will secure the title before celebrating back home at the final round in Abu Dhabi.
The weekends proceedings get under way at 09:00 on Saturday 14 September with the now traditional Opening Ceremony where drivers from each of the twelve nations represented will raise their countries flag. This will be followed by Free Practice at 11:15, with Qualifying for the 2019 Grande Premio De Portugal getting under way at 15:00 local Portuguese time.