*Liuzhou off the schedule
Wednesday, 8 August: With phase 2 of the 2018 campaign edging ever closer Team Abu Dhabi and its trio of talent will be the target for those still harbouring title aspirations as the championship prepares to head to two new venues in Asia, Xiangyang in the Peoples Republic of China on 21-23 September and Amaravati in India on 16-18 November.
After an impressive European leg winning all the three Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi drivers lock out the top three spots in the drivers’ championship; Erik Stark leads the title race on 41 points, winning from pole in London in the colours of Maverick F1 Racing, then announcing his arrival at the Emirati outfit with a repeat performance in Evian. Thani Al Qemzi has pushed both teammates to the limit with two second places and a fourth and sits just two points adrift, with Shaun Torrente a further seven points back after winning from pole in Portimao and taking third last time out – the trios exploits putting Abu Dhabi comfortably out front by 26 points in the Teams Championship.
The absence of Liuzhou from the calendar reduces the remaining points available from 100 to 80 piling further pressure on the chasing pack looking to try to derail the Abu Dhabi juggernaut.
Leading the fightback will be CTIC F1 Shenzhen China duo Philippe Chiappe sitting in fourth spot after two podium finishes and banking 27 points and Peter Morin a point back in fifth with one podium credit and two fifths.
This time last year after three Grand Prix the drivers’ standings looked somewhat different; Alex Carella led with 38 points from Sami Selio on 30, Stark and Chiappe tied on 27 with Ahmed Al Al Hameli fifth on 21 points.