'The Flying Girl': The Emirati woman vying for pole-position

'The Flying Girl': The Emirati woman vying for pole-position
Seventeen-year-old Amna al-Qubaisi is on track to become the first Arab woman to race in Formula 4.
3 min read
15 May, 2017
Qabaisi will be the first Arab woman to compete in Formula 4 [Abu Dhabi Racing]
A 17-year-old Emirati racer is fast becoming one of the region's biggest motorsports stars, as she was named the first Arab woman to compete in Formula 4 racing.

Amna al-Qubaisi won the UAE's Rotax Max Challenge karting championship last month, and now will move on to the Formula 4 championship with the Prema team next season.

Ultimately, the young Emirati driver is setting her sights on the top prize in motor sports - a seat in Formula 1.

"It feels really amazing to be the first female driver of the UAE to be racing in Formula 4," Amna said, according to website 360 Sport.

"I feel very confident that I can do well there and this is the first step to Formula 1... I hope I can live up to the expectations of Daman Speed Academy - where I have trained - and of course Abu Dhabi Racing who have placed so much trust in me."

If she did make it all the way to Formula 1, Qubaisi would be one of only of six women to compete at the sport's highest levels. Only two women have ever qualified to begin a Grand Prix race.

Given her young age and obvious skill on the track, motorsports journalists believe there is no reason Qubaisi can't make it.

She has already taken to Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina racetrack to try out her single-seater, Kaspersky Lab-sponsored racing car and hopes it will take her to victory next season.

"I've tested the car at Yas Marina Circuit and in Dubai and hope to get good results. My karting experience will help me - Formula 4 is a different strategy but I was within the pace when I tested," she told the UAE-based website.

"Prema are a great team who have delivered champions. Moreover, Kaspersky Lab has come on board to sponsor the first ever female Emirati driver at this level of racing, which is fantastic."

Qubaisi will compete in 12 races around the world during the championship, including in her native UAE - where she is guaranteed to have strong support from the local crowd. 

Nicknamed "The Flying Girl", Qubaisi has the backing of her father, Khaled al-Qubaisi, who is the founder of Daman Speed Academy and managing director at Abu Dhabi Racing.

He has high hopes for his daughter and is confident she will progress to the most competitive grades of motorsport.

"We hope this association will go a long way in getting Amna to compete ultimately at the highest level of this sport," he told UAE daily The National.