French driver Philippe Chiappe stayed out of harm’s way while watching many of his Union Internationale Motonautique F1 H2O World Championship tour rivals fall by the way side en route to a second-place finish at the 24th Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi. The CTIC China Team driver’s win at the tour’s fifth stop in downtown Abu Dhabi on Friday afternoon secured his second straight world championship.
France’s Philippe Chiappe and the CTIC China Team secured back-to-back world titles on Friday at the F1 H2O Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi. Photo by Simon Palfrader/Idea Marketing
“I am so happy we were able to do what was expected today and finish the championship at a place where I first won a race a year ago—here in Abu Dhabi,” Chiappe said in an F1 H2O release. “The team did such a great job building my Moore boat along with Alex Hledin, who prepared my engines this season, that we never felt we were going to be pushed too deep in a hole as we focused on the prize of back-to-back championships.”
Team Abu Dhabi driver Alex Carella of Italy captured his third victory in five races in Abu Dhabi and his first victory of the season. The win has moved him into a second-place tie with American Shaun Torrente of the Victory Team, who dropped out when his new boat failed him, delaminating at the two-thirds mark of the 48-lap event while in fifth place.
Chiappe, who finished a whopping 48 seconds behind Carella, was runner-up for the second time this season after taking victories in Porto, Portugal, and Liuzhou, China. The driver from Rouen now has 70 points and an insurmountable 31-point lead ahead of both Carella and Torrente with just one race to be run next Friday (Dec. 18) in Sharjah on the Khaled Lagoon.
Alex Carella finished with an enormous 48-second lead on Friday in Abu Dhabi. Photo by Simon Palfrader/Idea Marketing
Team Abu Dhabi also got third place on the podium as Thani Al Qamzi, who started dead last in 17th position, made a great run to finish on the podium for the second straight race.
Finnish two-time world champion Sami Selio was fourth after leading 15 laps before mechanical problems slowed him down at the end, a lap behind Carella. Ahmed Al Hameli of the Emirates Team came from 16th at the start to take fifth, while Portuguese driver Duarte Benavente of F1 Atlantic Team was seventh and two spots ahead of his teammate Youssef Al-Rubayan of Kuwait who was a disappointed ninth after qualifying fourth.
Victory Team Introduces Two New F1 H2O Boats
Chiappe Cruises to First F1 H2O Victory in China
Chiappe Wins in Portugal, Closes in on F1 H2O Points Leader Torrente
Victory Team and Torrente Ready for Portugal After Testing in Italy
Al Rubayan Wins in France After Carella Disqualification, Torrente Takes Fourth
Torrente to Defend Points Lead in Evian with Victory Team
France’s Chiappe Wins in Sharjah to Claim F1 H2O World Crown