*Abu Dhabi’s title trio sit out the session
Thursday, 6 December, ABU DHABI (UAE): On a crucial weekend in the title race for Team Abu Dhabi it was neighbours and rivals Victory Team who topped the time sheets in today’s 90 minute practice session, with all three Abu Dhabi drivers sitting out the session. “We have been testing here for the last two weeks and we didn’t feel we had anything to gain,” said Erik Stark. “I think we are ready, we know what we have and we know the course.”
The Victory duo traded top spot during the session with Ahmed Al Hameli eventually setting the best time with a 43.63s lap around the 1.973km 5-pin corniche circuit to edge teammate Alex Carella by 0.05s. “Everything went very well and I am more than happy after the problems we have had,” Said Al Hameli. “The boat was fantastic today but the water was a bit strange today and it was very hard to find speed and acceleration at the same time so I think will take more time to find the right set up for qualifying.”
Emirates Racing’s Marit Stromoy continued her impressive run of form going third quickest with a 44.00s lap and is confident that they can find more pace. “We were a bit on the safe side with the engine and I think we can fine tune the set-up in terms of weight and balance, “she said. “We tried one or two things out today but we certainly can improve and we have something up our sleeve!”
2016 Abu Dhabi GP pole and race winner Jonas Andersson was once again in the mix near the top of the time sheets but not happy with the engine he was running. “So far is pretty much OK considering that I have no power in this new engine so probably will have to change for tomorrow. This was not what I expected,” said the Team Amaravati driver. “The circuit is fantastic, it’s fast and has some tricky bits and I prefer a course with the right hander. It makes it a bit more technical to drive.”
Peter Morin was the best of the CTIC F1 Shenzhen China duo in fifth but it was another frustrating session for teammate Philippe Chiappe, his session cut short after just 11 laps. “I didn’t have much time to adapt to this boat because we had some issues but we are not sure if it is an engine issue or something technical within the boat,” said Chiappe. “It has not been an easy year and I have no realistic chance for the title, but it is important to do well over the weekend and make sure we secure second in the teams championship and then we look ahead to next year.”
After a season beset with technical issues Sami Selio at last had a trouble free outing taking the maximum out of the session running two different boats and posting the sixth best time, but teammate Filip Roms was not so fortunate stopping early with engine problems. “It felt better today but now we have to double check everything. We did have some fuel issues with the newer boat, but my best time was set in the other one which is the one I will use,” Selio said.
Extra Free Practice – results top six..
1. Ahmed Al Hameli (uae) – 43.63s
2. Alex Carella (ita/*uae) – 43.68s
3. Marit Stromoy – 44.00s
4. Jonas Andersson (swe) – 44.03s
5. Peter Morin (fra) – 44.19s
6. Sami Selio (fin) – 45.25s
(*international racing licence)
For full classifications: