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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 January 2019

Emirati Amna Al Qubaisi becomes first Arab woman to test drive a Formula E car

Al Qubaisi, 18, drove for the Envision Virgin Racing team in Riyadh, but crashed out after only seven laps

Emirati racing driver Amna Al Qubaisi on Sunday became the first Arab woman to take part in a Formula E test when she drove for the Envision Virgin Racing team in Riyadh.

Al Qubaisi, 18, was only able to complete seven laps, however, after an accident on the street circuit, which was the scene of the first Saudia Formula E Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday.

“The track was very dusty and there were some damp corners, and if you come off-line, you lose the car completely and you go in the wall,” she told The National, after the morning test session. “I lost the rear of the car and I hit the left rear on the wall. It wasn't a big impact, it was quite a light impact, but it still damaged a few parts of the car, so I had to retire.”

Despite the brevity of her testing bow in the world's top all-electric racing series, however, she enjoyed her experience behind the wheel of the Gen2 car.

“The car was nice,” she said. “It was my first time to drive on a street circuit, so going through the corners was quite tricky. The Formula E car in general is a nice car to drive.”

And the significance of being involved in a landmark weekend for the kingdom was also not lost on Al Qubaisi, who is the daughter of Khaled Al Qubaisi, the first Emirati to compete at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

“It's been very nice to drive around Riyadh in general, because they've recently allowed women to drive in Saudi Arabia,” she said. “It's almost like a dedication to women in Saudi Arabia.”

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