Tag Archives: GP2

F1weekly podcast # 472

Photo: Omer Bin Ishaq

Sebastian Vettel F1 World Champion!

Red Bull take both Championships in a brilliant F1 season.

Fernando Alonso trapped behind Vittaly Petrov’s Renault.

Webber possibly his one and only chance to become WDC.

Sebastian Vettel: Yeah, I am a bit speechless. I don’t know what you are supposed to say at this moment. It has been an incredible tough season for myself, for all of us, physically and mentally especially. We have always kept believing in us and our team and the car and I kept believing in myself. Today was a special day all around. This morning I got up and tried not to think about anything, tried to avoid contact with people too much, just try to do my own thing. I knew that the only thing I could do was try to win this race and do my best. As you say we have only led this championship once and when it mattered. I am speechless.

The car was phenomenal. The start was crucial. It was very tight with Lewis but then in the first stint I had a bit of graining, so that Lewis got a bit close but then the car stabilised. From then onwards it was a dream. It was good for all of us, it cooled us down, that Lewis got out behind Robert Kubica and got held up, so I could make a gap. To be honest I didn’t know anything until I crossed the chequered flag. The last 10 laps I was wondering as my race engineer every lap was trying to give some advice and trying to help me carry the car home. I was thinking why is this guy nervous, we must be in a bloody good position. Then crossing the line he came on the radio very silently and said ‘it is looking good, but we have to wait until the cars finish’. I was thinking ‘what does he mean’ and I hadn’t seen the screens. I just wanted to make sure, not get any distraction, just focus on myself. Then he came on the radio and screams at me that we have won the world championship. I don’t know, it is just… I have to say thanks to a lot of people.

I will surely forget a lot of those. But to start with the team, all the guys here at the race track, all my mechanics, all the mechanics in the team, not only mine everyone. Engineers. We have an extreme, strong – sorry I make this long – amount of people working together in harmony. Back in Milton Keynes the guys are pushing like hell and I think they enjoy this moment as much as last week. Back in Austria all the people that have supported me since the beginning. It has been an incredible journey with Red Bull and after this season with the ups and downs to come here now and lead the championship after the last race is unbelievable. I can only say thanks and also thanks to all the people back in karting. Some of them are here, some of them are in Kerpen supporting me but also back in my home town, Heppenheim, so I just got to say thank you very much.

Christian Horner: “It’s unbelievable, It’s been a very emotional week for this team. I’m just so proud of the team. It’s just an amazing feeling to be double world champions, it’s the icing on the cake with the drivers’ title. This team is the best team in the world.

Sebastian, it’s the first time he’s led the world championship and he’s done it at the last race of the year. Unbelievable. A great job, he drove a perfect race when the pressure was on.

He has had ups and downs, he’s had bad luck, he’s had some mechanical problems, some engine failures but he never lost his focus and belief – and now he is a champion. A great season.

“He’s quite a remarkable character, he was the coolest of all of us. His rise to this point has been huge. He’s a product of the Red Bull Junior Team and today he’s delivered the biggest trophy in motorsport.”

We continued to back both drivers equally and it was the right thing to do.

At the end of the day, the best guy has won. There’s nothing to take away from Mark. He can also be very, very proud of what he’s achieved this year. He has driven well too, the fact that both drivers took it to the last race was just fantastic.”

Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
 1.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           1h39m36.837s
 2.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +     10.1s
 3.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +     11.0s
 4.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +     30.7s
 5.  Kubica        Renault                    +     39.0s
 6.  Petrov        Renault                    +     43.5s
 7.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +     43.7s
 8.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +     44.2s
 9.  Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +     50.2s
10.  Massa         Ferrari                    +     50.8s
11.  Heidfeld      Sauber-Ferrari             +     51.5s
12.  Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth          +     57.6s
13.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes       +     58.3s
14.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +     59.5s
15.  Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +   1m03.1s
16.  Hulkenberg    Williams-Cosworth          +   1m04.7s
17.  Kovalainen    Lotus-Cosworth             +     1 lap
18.  Di Grassi     Virgin-Cosworth            +    2 laps
19.  Senna         HRT-Cosworth               +    2 laps
20.  Klien         HRT-Cosworth               +    2 laps
21.  Trulli        Lotus-Cosworth             +    4 laps

Photo: Jaffa The Cake

Valsecchi hangs on for final 2010 victory Italian leads all the way for sprint win

Davide Valsecchi jumped his rivals at the start to take the lead after the first corner of this afternoon’s sprint race in Abu Dhabi, leading all the way to the flag for his first win of the season by absorbing race long pressure from Luiz Razia and Romain Grosjean. The Italian’s victory was set up when the lights went out:

poleman Josef Kral was slightly delayed off the line, handing front row starter Razia a clear line to turn one, but the Brazilian went too deep. Valsecchi and Grosjean were side by side out of the corner and into the lead, and when Razia chopped back on track the Frenchman had nowhere to go and dropped back to third to avoid being squeezed on either side.

Behind the top three Sam Bird had made his customary sharp getaway but was quickly jumped by Dani Clos, with a fierce battle for P4 commencing between the pair ahead of Kral, Sergio Perez and Oliver Turvey: the Mexican was soon by the poleman and looking for more, making it a three way fight for fourth place.

The battle was extinguished almost as quickly as it began: two laps later Perez dived inside at a gap which wasn’t really there, colliding with Bird and putting the pair out of the race almost instantly: with teammate Giedo van der Garde picking up three drive through penalties the Addax pitwall realised that their chances of reclaiming up the team’s championship were over for the year.

Back on track there were plenty of scraps but little in the way of overtaking: Razia pushed hard as he tried to save his team’s championship (and help his own), and applied constant pressure to Valsecchi as he looked to bring home the win iSport were denied yesterday. And at the flag he held on for victory by less than a second from Razia, with Grosjean holding off a late charge from Clos, Kral claiming a few more points for fifth, and Turvey just hanging on to the final point against a spirited challenge from Brendon Hartley.

With the final race over the championship standings are set: Pastor Maldonado is the 2010 GP2 champion, Sergio Perez is the vice-champion, with Jules Bianchi hanging on for third place. In the team’s standings Razia’s podium today guaranteed Rapax their first title, pushing their way past Barwa Addax Team (who held the lead with Perez’s victory yesterday), and ART Grand Prix joining them for third place.

Abu Dhabi. Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal won the second round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East in emphatic style at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi today.

Reversing the top two finishing positions from the previous day, the defending champion cruised to victory by seven seconds from Bahrain’s first round winner, Sheikh Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa, to go level with him at the top of the 2010-11 championship standings.

After securing his first podium place in the one-make series 24 hours earlier, Abu Dhabi’s Khaled Al Qubaisi took third place again to underline the validity of his challenge this season after a summer gaining experience in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in Europe.

Placed third in last year’s series, Bandar Alesayi grabbed fourth position ahead of fellow-Saudi Faisal Binladen, while Al Qubaisi’s team-mate, Musaed Al Murar, completed the top six and also won the rookie’s trophy for the second day running.

The starting grid had been decided by the drivers’ second fastest times during qualifying on Saturday. Starting in pole position, Prince Abdulaziz got away from the grid smoothly, and gradually built up a comfortable cushion from Sheikh Salman who was never able to get close enough to put him under pressure, as he had done the previous day.

The two drivers now share the championship lead as they look ahead to Rounds 3 and 4 on Speed weekend at Bahrain International Circuit on December 2-3.

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Photo: Omer Bin Ishaq

Sebastian Vettel does it! With pole in Abu Dhabi.

Mark Webber could not do it and only managed fifth place.

Lewis Hamilton puts his McLaren on the front row.

Fernando Alonso in perfect position with third on the grid.

“I think we are more or less in the same situation as we were two days ago before first practice,” he said. “We know the situation, we know the four contenders.

everything is on tomorrow’s race, anything can happen and we saw in last few events things changed – in Korea the Red Bulls were very strong and lost the race with mechanical issues, in Brazil we saw some problems with pitstops.

In the race anything can happen, we need to complete 55 laps without any problems. It will be a tough race, a long race, but we are in a position where we are very strong.

Obviously it was a tough qualifying for everyone, changing positions in Q2 and Q3, you never know how competitive you are until Q3 finishes.

The first attempt was not great, traffic in the first sector so I knew with the second tyres there was some potential to come so I pushed to the limit and third place is great.”

Pos  Driver       Car                  Q1         Q2         Q3
 1.  Vettel       Red Bull-Renault     1m40.318s  1m39.874s  1m39.394s
 2.  Hamilton     McLaren-Mercedes     1m40.335s  1m40.119s  1m39.425s
 3.  Alonso       Ferrari              1m40.170s  1m40.311s  1m39.792s
 4.  Button       McLaren-Mercedes     1m40.877s  1m40.014s  1m39.823s
 5.  Webber       Red Bull-Renault     1m40.690s  1m40.074s  1m39.925s
 6.  Massa        Ferrari              1m40.942s  1m40.323s  1m40.202s
 7.  Barrichello  Williams-Cosworth    1m40.904s  1m40.476s  1m40.203s
 8.  Schumacher   Mercedes             1m41.222s  1m40.452s  1m40.516s
 9.  Rosberg      Mercedes             1m40.231s  1m40.060s  1m40.589s
10.  Petrov       Renault              1m41.018s  1m40.658s  1m40.901s
11.  Kubica       Renault              1m41.336s  1m40.780s
12.  Kobayashi    Sauber-Ferrari       1m41.045s  1m40.783s
13.  Sutil        Force India-Ferrari  1m41.473s  1m40.914s
14.  Heidfeld     Sauber-Ferrari       1m41.409s  1m41.113s
15.  Hulkenberg   Williams-Cosworth    1m41.015s  1m41.418s
16.  Liuzzi       Force India-Ferrari  1m41.681s  1m41.642s
17.  Alguersuari  Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m41.707s  1m41.738s
18.  Buemi        Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m41.824s
19.  Trulli       Lotus-Cosworth       1m43.516s
20.  Kovalainen   Lotus-Cosworth       1m43.712s
21.  Glock        Virgin-Cosworth      1m44.095s
22.  di Grassi    Virgin-Cosworth      1m44.510s
23.  Senna        Hispania-Cosworth    1m45.085s
24.  Klien        Hispania-Cosworth    1m45.296s

Perez dominates Abu Dhabi feature race Mexican secures second in championship Sergio Perez crushed his rivals with an unmatched display of speed on his way to a dominant win in today’s feature race in Abu Dhabi, securing second place in the championship as he easily led the way home, greeting the chequered flag over twenty seconds ahead of Oliver Turvey and Sam Bird. The Mexican’s victory was set up when the lights went out: polesitter Turvey bogged down slightly as he got away, allowing Perez an easily line into the lead at turn one.

Teammate Davide Valsecchi was also slow to get away, handing Romain Grosjean a simple line inside and through for P4, which improved by one when Fabio Leimer and Turvey touched wheels at the first corner, with the Swiss driver coming off worse. Further back Giedo van der Garde and Jules Bianchi came together too: the Dutchman was left stranded on the outside of turn one, and when Adrian Zaugg also tipped into a spin a few corners later there was no choice but to bring out the safety car. Further back Bird was lying in tenth after an incredible start from P18 on the grid, and when teammate Bianchi and Max Chilton came together one lap after the restart the Briton was up to an amazing P6: the team made a sharp call into the pits on lap 6 to see what they could do to help. Back on track Luiz Razia was pushing Grosjean hard for third, while Dani Clos and Valsecchi were squabbling over the positions behind: the pit call for Bird was the right one, with his rivals losing time fighting as Bird flew in clear air after his stop. Razia, Valsecchi and Clos stopped together on lap nine, with Bird slotting in ahead of the Spaniard, and a left rear tyre problem for Grosjean at his stop a lap later gave him another free position.

At the front of the field Perez sailed serenely on, with Turvey unable to challenge and stopping for fresh rubber, with the Mexican finally coming in on lap 12. Champion elect Pastor Maldonado was the only man left to stop, but a message from the stewards stated that he was going to have to make a drive through too, ruining any chance of a fight for points.

A clearly annoyed Maldonado left his stops until the last few laps, but Perez wasn’t waiting around: he reclaimed the lead on track on lap 18 and was gone, while behind him Turvey drove a strong race for second. Razia and Valsecchi’s races started to unravel under the harsh sun as they were unable to contain the pace of Bird and Clos: the pair had a fierce battle for the final podium position, with the Briton holding on by less than a second. Valsecchi managed to hold on for fifth place ahead of a fast charging Grosjean, with Razia just hanging on in front of tomorrow’s poleman Josef Kral, who secured a splendid P8 on his return to the series.

Abu Dhabi. Defending champion Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal started the new season in style today, grabbing pole position for the opening round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi.

The Saudi driver, who won nine out of 12 rounds last season, was fastest in qualifying with a time of 2:15.447, edging out Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa, 2:15.620, the 2009-10 championship runner-up.

Teenager Fahad Algosaibi was third fastest in 2:16.320, with fellow Saudi Bandar Alesayi, 2:16.643, Abu Dhabi’s Khaled Al Qubaisi, 2:17.074, and Faisal Binladen, 2:17:871, completing the top six.

Dutch newcomer to the series, Oscar Slingerland, secured a top ten finish with the name of his team owner’s four-day old grand daughter, Karlijn, proudly displayed on the bonnet of his new Porsche GT3 Cup car inside a pink heart.

Qualifying results

1. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Al Faisal Racing Team             2:15.447

2. Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa (BAH)                                  2:15.620

3. Fahad Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing                    2:16.320

4. Bandar Alesayi (KSA)                                                         2:16.643

5. Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE) tolimit Arabia                               2:17.074

6. Faisal Binladen (KSA) Saudi Falcon Racing                      2:17:871

7. Musaed Al Murar (UAE) tolimit arabia                                 2:18.887

8. Ibrahim Salloum (UAE) Abu Dhabi Falcon Racing 2:18.979

9. Oscar Slingerland (NL) Speedlover NL                              2:23.223

10. Fawaz Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing                 2:23.577

Motorsports Mondial

Abdulaziz on another mission to the top

Abu Dhabi. As Abu Dhabi prepares to decide another dramatic Formula One world title race on Sunday, one of the Arab world’s newest motor racing champions is aiming to make his own mark during an action-packed weekend at Yas Marina Circuit.

Saudi Arabia’s Prince  Abdulaziz Al Faisal is in a confident mood as he begins the defence of his title in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, although he anticipates pressure from a number of directions as the series enters its 2010-11 season.

He scored three of his nine victories in the 12-round championship in Abu Dhabi last season, and the No.1 on his brand new 2011 Porsche GT3 Cup car reflects not only his domination of the inaugural series, but where he wants to remain.

“I’m looking to win the title again, and I’ve prepared well for the new season so I have given myself every chance,” he said. “I’m sure it’s going to be more difficult this time though, as the other guys have done their homework and will be trying to put pressure on me.”

With Abu Dhabi’s Khaled Al Qubaisi and Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa both eager to make a winning start in Round 1 on Saturday afternoon, another threat to the reigning champion could come from much closer to home.

Saudi Fahad Algosaibi underlined his talent by becoming the youngest ever winner in the history of Porsche one-make racing at the age of 16 in Round 10 at Reem International Circuit, outside Riyadh, last season.

Beaten into second place that day, Prince Abdulaziz said of Algosaibi at the time: “It’s not bad to lose a race to someone like Fahad. He’s very talented and we’ll have to watch out for him next year.”

Also watching out for Algosaibi will be his father, Fawaz, who also returns to action in the Michelin and Mobil 1-sponsored series in another of the brand new Porsche GT3 Cup cars making their world competitive debuts in Abu Dhabi.

The opening rounds of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East are the official support races for the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

GT3 Cup action gets under way with a practice session at 11:30am tomorrow (Friday). After a qualifying session starting at 12:45pm the following day, Round 1 gets under way at 3:25pm. Round 2 starts at 2:45pm on Sunday.

GP2 Series:

Turvey powers to pole in Abu Dhabi Englishman dominates qualifying session Oliver Turvey went one better from his fine performance in today’s practice by claiming pole position for the feature race in a dramatic qualifying session in Abu Dhabi ahead of Dani Clos and Sergio Perez. The Briton spent the whole session at the sharp end of the timing sheets, but a late lap of 1:48.559 couldn’t be bettered by his rivals, handing Turvey his first GP2 Series pole position by almost half a second. With temperatures soaring this afternoon following a quiet practice session and a sudden downpour of rain just afterwards, the drivers were immediately on the pace: Perez, Turvey and Jules Bianchi were fighting fiercely for the top spot from their first flying laps, alternating the quickest times between them as they circulated. Ten minutes in and Turvey was on top (by just 0.009s), at fifteen Bianchi led the way, and with temperatures starting to slide it was difficult to know what to expect from the second set of tyres. Luiz Razia answered that question by being the first man on track and promptly putting himself in P2, and when his rivals returned to the circuit warfare recommenced. With a few minutes remaining Perez went top, with Clos squeezing by a few seconds later, but Turvey laid down his marker and gave his rivals just three minutes to improve upon it: no one could get close, and it was all over as the chequered flag dropped. Behind the top three Fabio Leimer did a fantastic job to claim fourth on tomorrow’s grid, ahead of Davide Valsecchi, Bianchi, Razia, Giedo van der Garde, Romain Grosjean and Sam Bird, all of whom were within a second of pole: tomorrow’s race promises to be as scorching as the weather conditions.

Abu Dhabi – Qualifying Session Driver Team Time Laps 1. Oliver Turvey iSport International 1:48.559 13 2. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1:49.035 13 3. Sergio Perez Barwa Addax Team 1:49.081 12 4. Fabio Leimer Ocean Racing Technology 1:49.148 13 5. Davide Valsecchi iSport International 1:49.307 13 6. Jules Bianchi ART Grand Prix 1:49.338 13 7. Luiz Razia Rapax 1:49.410 14 8. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:49.429 13 9. Romain Grosjean Dams 1:49.462 13 10. Sam Bird ART Grand Prix 1:49.624 13 11. Adrian Zaugg Trident Racing 1:49.812 13 12. Max Chilton Ocean Racing Technology 1:49.890 12 13. Michael Herck DPR 1:50.160 12 14. Fabio Crestani DPR 1:50.239 12 15. Pastor Maldonado Rapax 1:50.362 14 16. Rodolfo Gonzalez Arden International 1:50.549 12 17. Josef Kral Super Nova Racing 1:50.559 14 18. Brendon Hartley Scuderia Coloni 1:50.568 13 19. Charles Pic Arden International 1:50.569 10 20. Marcus Ericsson Super Nova Racing 1:50.719 12 21. Jerome d’Ambrosio Dams 1:50.730 12 22. James Jakes Scuderia Coloni 1:50.901 13 23. Ho-Pin Tung Racing Engineering 1:51.061 12 24. Federico Leo Trident Racing 1:52.170 13

F1weekly podcast # 471

Podcast number 471

Final race of the 2010 Formula 1 season and WDC.

Will Sebastian Vettel turn out to be Mr. Nice guy?

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir Hameed.

Robert Kubica: The Abu Dhabi track has an amazing appearance and it comes across very well on television. The hotel that is lit up in different colours looks spectacular and you can tell that a lot of money has been invested in this facility. When I walked the track for the first time last year, I thought it would offer a lot of overtaking opportunities, but actually there was a lot less action in the race than I expected.

Having lots of wide run-off areas definitely doesn’t help overtaking because it’s much easier to defend your position. You know that even if you miss your braking point, you won’t lose anything because you can cut the corner and stay ahead. Of course, you cannot do it every lap, but if there was a wall or a gravel trap instead, it might give the driver behind a better chance to overtake. But it can also work the other way, too, because the guy who is attacking can risk much more in the braking zones knowing that he has an escape path if the manœuvre doesn’t work out.

One of the things I find annoying about this track is the number of off-camber corners, such as turns 16 and 17. In these corners it’s very easy to get on the power and then lose traction and slide with the rear of the car, which can cost you a lot of time. So it’s a very tricky track.

The race starts in the early evening, so you have to change your visor strip to be ready for racing at dusk. The other issue I remember from last year was that we had all three practice sessions in daylight and then both qualifying and the race took place at dusk. That made it hard because the temperatures dropped and the track conditions were completely different, which had a big impact on car balance. But now we have the experience from last year and we know to make set-up changes to prepare for running in the evening.

Although Abu Dhabi is the final race of the year, it doesn’t mean we’re all going on holiday as soon as it’s over. A few days after the race all the teams will remain in Abu Dhabi for the first test on the new Pirelli tyres as we begin our preparations for 2011.

GP2 series:

It is time to say goodbye, but not before one final round. And there are still many things to unravel, starting with the Teams’ Title. The ongoing fight between Rapax, Barwa Addax Team and ART Grand Prix is far from over: Pastor Maldonado was declared our new Champion in Monza, but he is still set to keep pushing hard in Abu Dhabi to help his Italian team grab their first ever GP2 crown. Still, the Addax and ART pair have no intention of letting it go easily. Things get all the more raging and complicated with Sergio Perez, Jules Bianchi and Sam Bird still in the run for Second and Third places in the Drivers’ Standings fight… and with Giedo van der Garde not too far away from Third place himself. Although Perez, bolstered by his secured 2011 Formula One seat at Sauber, could be hard to beat in the Middle East, at ART Bird will be looking to capitalise on his first GP2 win in Monza, and Bianchi will no doubt be on the hunt for not only his fourth pole position of the season, but also his first longawaited win. All in all, the last round of the 2010 GP2 Series season is
set to be epic! And as goodbyes go, it will be the last time that the GP2/08 car will be racing after three thrilling seasons
– its Swan song will take place late this month during two three-day tests at Yas Marina circuit. Last, but not least, GP2 Series prepare to say farewell to one of its most beloved and trusting partners, Bridgestone. Thank you for six great years of a fruitful and successful collaboration.

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Motorsports Mondial

Image from the 2011 Calendar “Americana

Richie Ginther. Honda’s Hero. California native navigates the streets of Monte-Carlo. In 1965, close to home and down Mexico way, Ginther gave Honda their first Grand Prix win by scoring his first and only F1 victory.

This victory was also celebrated in Akron, Ohio, as it was first triumph for tire manufacturer Goodyear.

Ginther scored a point in his F1 debut by finishing sixth in his Ferrari in the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix. He was second to teammate Phil Hill at Monza. In 1963, driving for BRM he had five podium finishes and was third in the championship.

Other career highlights include second place finishes in the 1954 Carrera Panamericana with Hill, and in the 1960 Buenos Aires 1000km with Wolfgang von Trips. Ginther passed away in 1989 while vacationing in France.

Please visit our merchandise page to order this classic F1 calendar.

Motorsports Mondial

Sheikh Salman sets his sights on GT3 Cup title

Bahrain. Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa has set his sights firmly on a title triumph in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, which launches its 2010-11 season this weekend alongside the deciding round of the Formula One World Championship in Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Salman grabbed pole position for seven of 12 rounds last season but managed only one race victory as Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal dominated the new one-make series.

Looking ahead to the start of the new campaign in the UAE capital, the 2009-10 championship runner-up said: “After last season I’m focused on winning. I’ve prepared well, I’m in very good shape and I can’t wait for the new season to start.”

The first two rounds of the new season on Saturday and Sunday are the official support races for the 2010 Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit.

Sheikh Salman earned a place in the record books there 12 months ago when his victory in the Supercars Middle East Championship made him the first ever race winner at the venue.

Sheikh Salman and the rest of the 16-driver line-up will be at the wheel of the brand new 450 horsepower 2011 911 GT3 Cup car which will be making its first competitive appearance anywhere in the world in Abu Dhabi.

If he can make a solid start in the UAE he will certainly fancy his chances when the series moves on to his home track at Bahrain International Circuit for rounds Rounds 3 and 4 on December 2-3, with Rounds 7 and 8 to follow there on 18-19 February.

In addition to action in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, the 2010-11 series, which is sponsored by Michelin and Mobil 1, also takes in Reem International Circuit outside Riyadh, where it made history last season as the first international circuit race event ever staged in the Kingdom.