Thursday, 17 November, MARINA BAY (Singapore): The eagerly awaited first act of the inaugural F1H2O Nations Cup, the draw to allocate to teams their boats and engines, took place this afternoon in the pits in Singapore’s Marina Bay. “It has been hard work to get to this point but we are extremely happy to see the start of Nations Cup and to see it start here in Marina Bay,” said Nicolò di San Germano, president of H2O Racing. “Singapore has a long tradition of powerboating. I remember the first Formula 1 Grand Prix of Singapore being held in Marina Bay 25 years ago. So now to see a fantastic new series being launched here is great pleasure for me.”
The 24 drivers from ten countries can now focus their attentions on the weekend’s racing, with the first official practice session getting proceedings underway tomorrow, Friday 18 at 11.00hrs. A second practice session on Saturday is immediately followed by official qualifying at 11.00hrs with the top 16 going through to contest the F1H2O Nations Cup Match Race at 15.30hrs. A final practice on Sunday morning is followed by the F1H2O Nations Cup Singapore Grand Prix at 16.00hrs.
Several changes to team line ups sees F1H2O star Ahmed Al Hameli drafted in to replace the injured Rashed Al Tayer as Team UAE’s number one driver and partners Majed Al Mansoori. Patrick Lees is named as the number three driver in Team South Africa and Nordin Hj Idris the number three driver in Team Brunei.
With all teams running identical boat-engine packages and allocated two sets of propellers, they start on a level playing field, but the emphasis in Nations Cup is on overall team performance rather than individual success, with each teams’ best three results from four from the Match Race and the Grand Prix to count towards the overall results.