Vila Velha de Rodao, Portugal: There was nothing stopping Team Abu Dhabi driver Rashid Al Qamzi from taking another stunning victory in the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday to conclude his fourth season in the UIM Formula 2 World Championship.
The Emirati driver was in complete control of the Tejos River Circuit in Vila Velha de Rodao as he led from start to finish from pole position to come home 4.8 seconds ahead of Portugal’s Duarte Benavente.
Third grand prize success
His third Grand Prix success of the season came a week after he claimed his fourth Formula 2 world title to add to his victories in 2017, 2019 and 2021, and not for the first time this season, Al Qamzi looked in a class of his own.
Even the appearance of two yellow flags in quick succession, prompting a restart near the end of the race, could not faze Al Qamzi as he put in a faultless display once again to underscore his status as the outstanding Formula 2 driver of his generation.
Lithuania’s Edgaras Ryabko took third place on the podium the day after his Grand Prix success last weekend, taking the silver medal of the championship, while bronze was taken by Stefan Arand of Estonia, who finished fourth on the day.
Abu Dhabi team player Mansour Al Mansouri came in fifth place, and ranked sixth in the overall standings of the tournament, which was one of the most fierce tournaments in recent years.
The depth of the competition brought out the best in Al Qamzi, as he secured Team Abu Dhabi’s record 17th World Championship title since Guido Cappellini took over as team manager eight years ago.
Having clinched pole position after a devastating final lap 24 hours earlier, he was in the lead from the start on Sunday as he won the race all the way to the first turn, and never looked back.
His path to another Grand Prix win was briefly delayed by two accidents that took out Norwegian Tobias Mone Kaas and Swedish Milda Wiberg, but it seemed that Al Qamzi pushed Al Qamzi towards the inevitable win.
While the Formula 2 title has always been the top priority this season for Al Qamzi, with the championship season now over, he will have little time to spare before returning to action with Team Abu Dhabi next weekend.
He joins his cousin, the vastly experienced Thani Al Qamzi, for the penultimate round of the 2023 UIM F1H2O World Championship, the Italian Sardina Region Grand Prix in Olbia.
In place of suspended champion Sean Torrente, (Rashid) Al Qamzi is now relishing the opportunity to deliver another world title to the UAE capital.
With the start of the final round of the season in Sharjah in December, the Abu Dhabi team currently occupies third place in the teams’ championship, just five points behind the Sweden team and two points behind the Sharjah team, having won the team title for five consecutive seasons.