EMIRATI SISTERS TO MAKE FORMULA 4 UAE DEBUT AT ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX
Young Emirati sisters Amna and Hamda Al Qubaisi will headline the F4UAE Championship powered by Abarth when it debuts as a support act to this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit (November 28-December 1).
The teenagers, aged 16 and 14 respectively, are currently training in Italy ahead of their first appearance in the local UAE open-wheeler championship, which now heads into its fourth season of competition as the only FIA-sanctioned open-wheeler championship in the MENA region.
The Al Qubaisi sisters – daughter of celebrated race-winning UAE driver Khaled Al Qubaisi – have extensive experience and successes in karting and open-wheelers, and will lead a field of junior racers when the championship makes its maiden appearance as a support to this year's Formula 1® grand finale of at the Abu Dhabi circuit. Their one-off appearance will be a major step forward in representing the UAE in front of a home crowd and the best teams in the world, before the championship officially begins in earnest for points come January 2020.
Amna is already in her second season of the Italian F4 Championship, where she finished a best-placed 15th in Race 3 at Imola last month. Her other accolades include becoming the first female to win both the UAE RMC Champion karting title in 2016 and the GCC Drivers Academy Competition in 2017, and was also the first Middle Eastern woman to take part in a motorsport test program for Formula E after the 2018 Ad Diriyah ePrix event in Saudi Arabia. While Hamda, who was the first Emirati to be invited to the FIA-sponsored CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy in 2016, made her F4 debut in Austria at the Red Bull Ring this past July.
Making the announcement at Yas Marina Circuit’s 2019/2020 calendar unveiling this week, Al Tareq Al Amiri, Yas Marina Circuit CEO, revealed F4UAE would debut on this year’s program with the sisters being the first drivers to announce their participation in the F4UAE non-championship Trophy Round.
“As a circuit we’re trying to support young local talents as much as we can,” said Al Tareq Al Ameri. “So we decided to host F4UAE, which is considered the first [stage] platform for professional racing for drivers after karting. We will be supporting Amna and Hamda and to be honest, we cannot wait to showcase them to the world. F4 is a global series but these are local rounds and these in turn are like feeder series to F1, so we are really excited and this is what we want to do to support local F1 aspirants.”
Launched in 2016, the FIA F4UAE Championship powered by Abarth was considered one of the most important additions to the UAE’s local motorsport calendar and has since welcomed a total of 51 drivers in three seasons, most of whom have gone on to successful results in Europe since.
"F1 is the category that the majority of our young open-wheeler racers aspire to reach and so to now give them a platform to race in front of their racing heroes is a very exciting way to start the new season of F4UAE,” said category technical director, Craig Thompson. "Announcing that Amna and Hamda will race F4UAE at the November event is great news for the region, and we know they will do everyone in the UAE proud when they get on track in front of the best teams in the world."
F4UAE is open to drivers aged 15 years and above and was created by the world’s governing body of motorsport, the FIA, to help young drivers bridge the gap between existing regional racing series and karting, to European competition and potentially Formula 1®.
2019/2020 F4UAE Championship Calendar:
NC - November 28-December 1, 2019 at Yas Marina Circuit
Round 1 – January 8-10, 2020 at Dubai Autodrome
Round 2 – January 17-18, 2020 at Yas Marina Circuit
Round 3 – February 14-15, 2020 at Yas Marina Circuit
Round 4 – February 21-22, 2020 at Dubai Autodrome
Round 5 – March 6-7, 2020 at Dubai Autodrome
AMNA AL QUBAISI RACING ACHIEVEMENTS
- · UAE RMC Champion 2016 (First Female)
- · GCC Drivers Academy Competition Winner 2017 (First Female)
- · 2x Teen Fitness Awards Winner 2016 & 2017
- · First Female Arab to test Formula E in Adiryah, Riyadh 2018
- · 2 Seasons in the Italian F4 Championship 2018 & 2019
- · IAME X30 Championship 2017 P3
HAMDA AL QUBAISI RACING ACHIEVEMENTS
- · 2nd in the Dubai O plate 2016
- · 3rd in the X30 Championship 2017
- · Teen fitness Award Winner 2017
- · CIK FIA Trophy Academy 2016
- · FIA Women in Motorsports Ambassador 2016
- · First Debut in F4 in the Italian Championship 2019 in Austria Red Bull Ring