ABU DHABI: In a boost for women drivers, the UAE’s Hamda Al-Qubaisi has been selected to take part in a Formula 3 test on Sept. 16 at Magny-Cours in France.
As part of a campaign to provide women access to the FIA’s single-seater competition, the 20-year-old Al-Qubaisi, a Formula 4 and regional racer, will be testing for a full day, to introduce her to the F3 category’s cars and different set-ups.
The Emirati racer secured her maiden overall podium finish in the Italian Formula 4 Championship in 2021, becoming the first and only woman to achieve that result.
Al-Qubaisi said: “I’m thrilled to be invited by the FIA F3 promoters to take part in this high-profile test. It is a very strong message in acknowledging female drivers and I would personally like to thank Bruno Michel for the opportunity.
“It means a lot to be acknowledged for my efforts and achievements in motorsports and offered the chance to test this amazing machine,” she added. “It is a natural progression in my career, and I aspire to drive in this championship next season, if all goes well.
“More importantly, I look forward to experiencing and getting a feel of this car, which has more power and downforce than the car I’m currently competing in. I have been working very hard on my physical fitness to cope with the extra g-force and feel confident that I will be able to handle it well.”
Al-Qubaisi is considered an outstanding global talent. She comes from a racing family that includes her father Khaled, an accomplished and respected figure in UAE motorsport, and sister Amna, who races in Formula 3 and is a member of the champion PREMA Team. The trio represented Abu Dhabi Racing together in this year’s Formula Regional Asian Championship.
“A lot of women in the UAE have been asking me about getting into motorsport and this makes me incredibly happy,” Al-Qubaisi said. “I want to continue inspiring young women everywhere and be a positive role model for them. If you are determined, focused and put your mind to something, you can really do it.”
Starting in go-karting, she moved to single-seaters in 2019 and went on to capture podium finishes in 2020 and 2021. In addition, she has had two successful campaigns in the F4 UAE Championship, with six wins (the most by any female in F4 worldwide) and multiple poles to her name, in addition to two overall fourth-place finishes in the series.
FIA Formula 3 CEO Bruno Michel said: “It’s very important to us to ensure that more and more female drivers join our championship. Diversity is one of our key discussions regarding the future of motorsport. We initiated these dedicated F3 tests last year, with Nerea Marti, Doriane Pin, Irina Sidorkova and Maya Weug, who all said how beneficial this one-day test had been to their understanding of the demands of our championship. We selected four new drivers for this year, as we follow closely not only the W Series, but also female drivers in other categories.
“The purpose of this test is not to compare their performance, but it is an opportunity for them to understand what is required from an F3 driver from every aspect, so that they can prepare for the challenges when they progress to our championship, hopefully in the near future.”
Khaled Al-Qubaisi, who acts as his daughter’s manager, said: “Hamda has a bright future in motor racing. It makes me very proud that my daughter, an Emirati female driver, is racing professionally and acting as an inspiration for women across the region. With Hamda competing at this level, she is taking the family’s motor racing legacy to a new level. This is an incredibly positive message from the UAE, the region and Arab nations. I truly believe that Hamda is on her way to becoming a strong role model for a new generation of racing drivers.”