Abu Dhabi: Emirati motorsports sensation Amna Al Qubaisi took her first step towards being the Formula 4 driver with a test drive at the Yas Marina Circuit on Wednesday night.
The 17-year-old is all set to become the first Arab female driver to race in 2018 Formula 4 Championship after signing a deal with Prema team, sponsored by Kaspersky Lab.
“First, I would like to thank Kaspersky Lab for sponsoring me. The test went well; it was more of a shakedown and getting used to the car,” said a thrilled Amna after the 10-lap test.
“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,” said Amna, who has several karting accolades and is also the first Emirati to win the UAE senior Rotax Max Challenge but is well aware this would be a different test all together.
“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. It is a learning curve,” said Amna adding that she would need to work harder on her fitness.
“It requires a lot of fitness especially in the arms. Shifting is not really new to me and have driven vehicles that involve shifting but it’s a really good experience,” revealed Amna, who has several more tests lined-up this season to hone her skills.
“I will have five or six more sessions at Yas Marina Circuit but in a few months’ time I will be testing in Europe. Testing on a different track to what I’m not used to, will be a challenge. At this stage, it’s all about getting used to the feel of the car and once that passes by, I’ll worry about the timings,” said Amna.
Maxim Frolov, Kaspersky Lab Managing Director for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa said: “Kaspersky Lab has a long history of supporting young formula talents. 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 currently running in the Formula 2 championship for the Prema team. We are sure that one day Amna will be racing for the F3 and F2 as well as challenge for the championship.”