With series promoter Nicolo di San Germano forced to cancel the Union Internationale Motonautique F1 H2O World Championship’s July event in Kyiv, Ukraine, because of the current political crisis, many of the F1 teams are focusing their attention on testing with a focus on the busy schedule to come later in the year.
Last week, the Qatar Team tested the latest DAC-designed boat, which the team plans to race in China in October. Photo by Alex Carella
Leading the way is the defending champs—the Qatar Team. On board for a recent test session was three-time world champion Alex Carella, who leads the 2014 championship with 20 points after winning at his team’s home race in Doha. The 28-year-old Italian driver was in Northern Italy last week at the DAC facility in Como testing out the latest 2014 DAC-designed craft.
The boat, which was completed early in the year, had a major mishap when it accidentally exploded in the team’s workshop in Doha a week before the opening Grand Prix in mid-March necessitating its return to the factory to be repaired.
“It was good to get back in the boat and focus on the championship,” Carella said in an F1 H2O press release. “Testing is a grueling mental exercise as you do your best to take notes while pushing hard at the same time.
“It will be interesting when we finally get to run this next example of the DAC line that dates back to the 1980s,” he added. “I think this boat can be a real step forward for Shaun (Torrente, Carella’s teammate) and me before the season comes to a close. You always need to have a leg up on the competition when it comes to designing a raceboat.”
Even after August when the teams have loaded their equipment for shipment from Italy to China for the race in Liuzhou in October, some teams will continue testing despite their primary hulls being locked on a container ship for the long haul six time zones to the east from the port of Genoa.
“We will have more extensive tests at our secret location in Florida,” said Brendan Power, the Qatar Team’s engine management director and assistant team manager. “This is where both Shaun and Alex will go to work with our test boat as we continue to develop both the handling and the engine package to keep our program at the top of its game. Plus it should keep both of our talented drivers in fine ‘racing trim’ prior to our race in China.”
Team Abu Dhabi is looking to put pressure on the Qatar Team in the final three races of the 2014 F1 H2O season. Photo courtesy F1 H2O
While the Qatar Team works on both sides of the Atlantic to get ready for the tough part of the 2014 schedule, Team Abu Dhabi—led by four-time world champion, American Scott Gillman, who has been busy working with team driver Ahmed Al Hameli—was testing last week in Casale, Italy.
“We had a real beneficial test last week,” Gillman said. “We not only improved our testing facilities near our race shop along the Po River but we had ‘all hands on deck’ here helping Ahmed get settled in his boat.
“We have our nice new launch ramp working, which makes it easy to go quickly from the race complex down to the waters edge, launching the boat and be testing in a matter of a few minutes,” he added. “I think the team is in high spirits and ready to prove once again that Team Abu Dhabi will be organization that will be reckoning with before the end of the year. It all starts with testing and preparation and that’s what we are doing at the moment.”