ABU DHABI: Shaun Torrente hopes to continue his winning ways in China this weekend in order to put Team Abu Dhabi on track for a fourth UIM F1H2O World Championship victory.
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The defending champion won in China in 2018 and 2019 on his way to his first two F1H2O world titles, and he comes into Sunday’s Grand Prix of Zhengzhou keen to put his first-round failure in Indonesia behind him.

Torrente was first to the finish line in the season’s first Grand Prix, only to be punished for a false start, earning Polish driver Bartek Marszalek his first career victory.

“Indonesia definitely didn’t finish the way I wanted,” remarked Torrente. “On the water, I won the race, but I made a mistake.” At the very least, I gained a couple of points, so we can move on in China. As usual, I’ll go for the win and try to reclaim first place in the standings, one lap at a time, one race at a time.

“Of course, it’s a different venue this time in China, and I’m just excited to get out on the water and see what we can do.” We’re usually quick in new places, like we were in Indonesia, so I think we’ll be well there.”

Torrente has great hopes for three-time UIM F2 champion Rashed Al-Qemzi, who replaces his cousin, legendary Emirati driver Thani Al-Qemzi, who is unavailable for the journey to China.

“Rashed’s integration into the team is not even necessary, because he’s been our spare driver for three or four seasons,” Torrente explained. “He’s always been there for us, and we’ve competed in F2 and endurance races together.” He’s a really talented and quick driver.

“The most important thing for him is to gain some experience and complete all of the laps.” To be honest, if everything goes right, he has a chance to win the race because he is that fast. He isn’t expected to, yet his talent is undeniably high.”

Al-Qemzi, who won the UIM Endurance Championship in 2019 and 2021 with Team Abu Dhabi, made his F1H2O debut in Sharjah in 2016 and scored his first points there a year later. He is a naturally confident competitor who will absorb up all of Torrente’s and team manager Guido Cappellini’s encouragement and motivation.

“I’m very excited to be racing in F1 again, and I’m going to give everything I’ve got for the team,” he stated. “Of course, F1 is where I really want to be.” Shaun was a big assistance to me when we won the endurance title together. As a driver who has won the world championship three times, I can learn a lot from him.

“Guido has instructed me to test the boat in extra free practice so that the team can prepare it for me the following day.” Because my weight will be different than Thani’s, some tweaks will be required, and I’ll see how it fits my driving style.”



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