Team Abu Dhabi star sets his sights on place in record books  as new F2 campaign begins in Italy


Abu Dhabi, UAE, 25 June, 2024: Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi is aiming for a flying start to the new season in Italy at the weekend as he launches his bid to become the first ever five-time winner of the UIM F2 World Championship.

The Emirati driver currently shares the distinction of having four F2 world crowns to his credit with Erik Stark, and wants to move past the Swede this year to claim a place in the record books.

“I really want to be the five-time world champion,” said Al Qemzi, who tests a new boat over three days in San Nazzaro ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix of Italy in Brindisi, opening round of this year’s championship.

“I hope everything works well, and that I’ll be fighting for the title again. At times, I do feel under pressure. Some drivers start the season very fast, and it can be tough. But if I win the first race, that puts me in a strong position, and that’s what I have done each year that I’ve taken the title.”

Team Abu Dhabi again pair Al Qemzi with Mansoor Al Mansoori, who finished fifth in last year’s championship after taking third place on the podium in 2022.

The duo were team-mates in Abu Dhabi’s 2021 World Endurance Championship triumph, which had a major impact on Al Qemzi, who was also part of the 2019 title-winning line-up.

“I’ve changed a lot as a driver because of all the experience I’ve gained in F2 over the last few years,” he said. “But my experience in endurance racing made the biggest difference. 

“I was driving for one hour 50 minutes at a time in the 12 hour and 24 hours races as part of a team that beat the best in the world to take the championship.”

His F2 success last year brought Team Abu Dhabi’s 17th world championship title since powerboat racing legend Guido Cappellini took charge in 2015, and Al Qemzi says the Italian has had a huge influence on his career. 

“Guido is always there for me, and helps in many ways,” he says. “If I can’t find a good balance on the boat, I go to see him and he finds a solution.”