Monday, 25 February: Unlike this time last year when there was a multiple driver migration and facelift in the paddock, this year the changes are, at this stage, somewhat fewer.
The first newcomer in the starting line up in Dammam will be Italy’s Alberto Comparato who makes his F1H2O debut at the Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia on 28-30 March with Portuguese outfit F1Atlantic after being signed up by team principal and driver Duarte Benavente at the end of last season.
The 21-year-old from Chioggia will be the youngest driver in the paddock and is one of only a clutch of drivers to follow their fathers into the top flight of formula circuit racing, stepping up after winning the UIM F2 World Championship last season to add to his World, European and National titles achieved in the UIM F4 Championship.
French outfit Maverick F1 Racing has confirmed that Beranger Robart will make just his second start in the series in the season opener and teams-up with Cedric Deguines who is one of six of the current crop of drivers who raced in Saudi Arabia in Sunset Beach in 2004.
The news released by Abu Dhabi in January that it will run a two boat team with World Champion Shaun Torrente and Thani Al Qemzi meant no place for world ranked number two Erik Stark who has confirmed that he will not be racing in Dammam.
Further team news to follow…