Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

Emirati driver Amna Al Qubaisi raring to go in Formula 4 after first test at Yas Marina Circuit

First female and Emirati to win Senior class Rotax Max Challenge will drive for Kaspersky Lab-sponsored Prema Racing in Formula 4 championship in Europe this coming season, writes Ahmed Rizvi.
Amna Al Qubaisi became the first woman and Emirati to win the Senior class Rotax Max Challenge when she cruised to the title last season. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Racing
Amna Al Qubaisi became the first woman and Emirati to win the Senior class Rotax Max Challenge when she cruised to the title last season. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Racing

Amna Al Qubaisi is excitedly looking forward to competing in Formula 4 after her first test aboard her new drive at the Yas Marina Circuit.

The first female and Emirati to win the Senior class Rotax Max Challenge when she cruised to the title last season, Amna, 17, is taking a step up the ladder and will drive for the Kaspersky Lab-sponsored Prema Racing in the Formula 4 championship in Europe this season.

Amna was happy with her first test on Wednesday, during which she completed 60 laps and reached a top speed of 209 kilometres per hour on the 2.36km Yas Marina South Circuit that has 12 turns.

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■ Formula 4: Emirati Amna Al Qubaisi, 17, to become first Arab woman in championship

■ Senior Rotax Max Challenge: Emirati schoolgirl Amna Al Qubaisi drives into record books

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“First, I would like to thank Kaspersky Lab for sponsoring me,” said the Daman Speed Academy junior, who also won the top honours at the GCC Young Drivers Academy programme in Bahrain last month to cap a successful season.

“The test went well. It was more of a shakedown and getting used to the car.

“Lap by lap there was improvement and the technicians went through the data with me and advised me on how to improve my timings. I have indeed improved by far.

“I am getting ready for the new season, and I just feel I need a little more time and practice. But I think I am ready for it and really excited about the new season.”

Watch Matthew Smith’s video of Amna’s practice at Yas

Talking about the difference between driving karts and Formula 4 cars, Amna said: “The new thing for me was going through the data and fixing my braking, and at which point I should be stepping on the gas and which point I should be on the brakes.

“The technicians helped me with understanding when to brake and the distance I should keep with the driver ahead. I am really happy with Prema.

“They have really helped me improve a lot. If it was not for them I don’t think I would have improved this much.”

Rene Rosin, the Prema team manager, added: “The test went pretty well. There were some small issues at the beginning, but it is normal as everything is new for Amna. We worked according to our plan. It was just a run-in to get her some experience with the new car and the new people working around her.

“Overall, things look very positive and we look forward now to more testing.”

Watch Matthew Smith’s video of Amna’s practice at Yas

Prema Racing are an Italian team, founded in 1983 by Angelo Rosin and Giorgio Piccolo, and a driving spot on their team means Amna will become the first Arab female to race in Formula 4.

“Kaspersky Lab has a long history of supporting young formula talents,” said Maxim Frolov, the company’s managing director for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

“For example, we have been supporting Antonio Fuoco from the Ferrari Driver Academy since 2013, and now we are proud to see that he is running in the Formula 2 championship for the Prema team.

“We are excited to see Amna racing for Formula 4 as part of her journey to Formula One.”

arizvi@thenational.ae

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Updated: June 15, 2017 04:00 AM

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