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Emirati sisters Amna and Hamda Al Qubaisi join MP Motorsport in F1 Academy

F4 race winner Amna Al Qubaisi returns behind the wheel and joins the new F1 Academy series with MP Motorsport - teaming up with her sister Hamda, the most successful female driver to date in F4 globally.


Photo by: F4UAE [1] / Racers - Behind the Helmet [2]

Dutch team MP Motorsport adds two big names to its 2023 F1 Academy roster: Emirati 20-year-old Hamda Al Qubaisi – the most successful female driver in Formula 4 championships globally to this day – and her sister Amna, 22, a race winner in F4 herself.


Having joined this year's F4 UAE championship in order to get back in the ryhthm of the new F4 machinery, Hamda Al Qubaisi will move from Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine to the brand-new all-female F1 Academy series, having been the most competitive female driver in the UAE-based series.


MP Motorsport therefore signs two of its three drivers at once, with Amna returning to behind the wheel of a single seater for her first international full-time season since 2019.

Daughters of established GT racer Khaled Al Qubaisi, Amna and Hamda had remarkable results in F4 from 2018 to 2021 and also shared the track in a few occasions in Italian F4 (2019) and in Formula Regional Asia (2022).


Amna famously won the F4 Trophy round at her home track in Yas Marina Circuit, in support of the 2019 Abu Dhabi F1 GP - and becomes the first driver to have already won a race in a F4 mixed-gender series to join F1 Academy.


She made waves in karting on home soil, before moving to Europe in 2018, when she entered the Italian F4 championship, in what was her rookie season in single seaters. In the extremely competitive series, Al Qubaisi claimed a best result of P12 and had several more top-20, before making more progress in 2019.


Having drawn the world's attention for her victory in Abu Dhabi, Amna was then slowed down by the global pandemic, which resulted in a full-year hiatus that halted her momentum. She would return behind the wheel in the 2021 Formula Regional Asian Championship, in her debut in F3 Regional machinery. In 2022, she would score a point in the same series in Abu Dhabi, in an extraordinarily-competitive field.


Almost a year later and with minimal track time, Al Qubaisi subbed in for her sister Hamda in Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine's final two rounds of the season at Barcelona and Mugello, in a Prema entry.

Towards the end of the year, she also had her first start in sports car racing, as she raced the 'Girls Only' LMP3 Norma prototype, finishing fourth overall and second in class in the German STT series.


Al Qubaisi has also tested the Formula E car, having been part of the 2018/19 rookie test at Marrakech, with Envision Virgin Racing.

While she never attempted the W Series selections in the past, the launch of F1 Academy gave Amna the opportunity to return full-time to single-seaters and on a global platform.


Following in her sister's footsteps, Hamda made history and became the first female driver to step on the overall podium in arguably the world's top F4 series, also conquering 24 points before stepping up to F3 Regional machinery.


Thanks to some equally impressive runs in the Emirati-based championship, Hamda won six races and finished twice fourth in the drivers' championship, becoming the only woman to ever do so. To this day, in fact, Hamda is only one of the three drivers to win a FIA-sanctioned F4 race.


Hamda therefore had the chance to get up to speed with the new Tatuus F4-T421 car before her F1 Academy debut in the F4UAE season, where she immediately qualified in the top-10 at the opening round in Dubai, and then scored her first points at Kuwait Motor Town with a seventh place finish out of a 40-car field which includes the most competitive F4 hopefuls worldwide. She was again seventh in the final round at Yas Marina Circuit, where she unfortunately ended the season with a wrist injury on the final lap of the final race.


Hamda, who is currently recovering from surgery, aims high in the new championship promoted by F1.


“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Amna and Hamda to our F1 Academy squad", commented Sander Dorsman, Team Principal at MP Motorsport.

"They are from a family that carries speed in their veins and have a bright future in motorsport ahead of them.


Announced in November at the Abu Dhabi F1 GP, the F1 Academy series will have five teams with three drivers each: MP is joined by Rodin Carlin, Prema Racing, ART GP, Campos Racing. The car used will be the new Tatuus T421 - with a specially designed aero kit - 165-horsepower turbocharged Autotecnica engines and Pirelli tyres.


With the aim of familiarize with the new gen F4 car, Amna Al Qubaisi took part last weekend in the final round of Formula Winter Series in Barcelona, in an GRS Motorsport's entry.


The series will get underway on 11-12 April with pre-season testing at the same track; drivers will then get ready for the first of the seven triple-header rounds at Red Bull Ring, Austria, on 28-29 April.


Ph credits: MP Motorsport

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