Hamda Al Qubaisi to make FRECA debut with Prema
Emirati racing driver Hamda Al Qubaisi steps up to Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine and joins Prema Powerteam after her debut in F3 machinery in the Asian series.
Hamda Al Qubaisi, 19, will return to Europe for a full campaign in the uber competitive Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, joining top team Prema Powerteam.
Hamda is widely considered one of the world's top female racing drivers, having scored 6 race victories in her F4 career - the most of any female racer worldwide - and made history at Misano last year, when she stepped on the overall podium of the Italian F4 Championship.
The younger sister of Amna Al Qubaisi, Hamda joined her sister and father Khaled on the grid of this year's Formula Regional Asian Championship, making her debut in F3 machinery at the wheel of the Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema Tatuus T-318 car.
Hamda showed speed and potential to get into the top-ten and will thus continue her learning process in FRECA with the support from the Italian team.
Part of a racing family, Hamda and Amna inherited the passion from their father, an established GT racer and multiple Le Mans finisher and 2-time Dubai 24H winner.
After quickly climbing the ladder in karting, Hamda made her F4 debut in 2019 with one-off appearances in the Italian series alongside her sister Amna. Hamda became a front runner in the series, scoring her first points in packed grids in 2020 and her first podium in 2021.
She also scored notable results in the UAE-based series, where she was fourth in the championship in 2020 and 2021 and collected 16 podiums and 7 pole positions.
“I'm very excited to be working with PREMA Racing for my first season in FRECA" - said Hamda. "I'm looking forward to building on what I learned in the Formula Regional Asian Championship and continuing to progress and improve.”
Hamda Al Qubaisi tested for Prema at the first two pre-season testing dates in Barcelona and Paul Ricard and got up to speed with the FRECA car, which differs from the Asian championship cars mainly for its different tyre compounds.
“We are proud to see Hamda make such a major step in a driver’s career" - said Prema Powerteam's Team Principal Rene Rosin. "Moving up from Formula 4 brings a lot of new challenges but we know her ability and level of commitment."
"She started with the right foot in the Asian Formula Regional Championship and we are looking forward to seeing that potential translate to FRECA as well. We are happy to continue working with her in what I think is a very interesting four-driver line-up.”
FRECA drivers will be back on track tomorrow for the final two-day collective test at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, before the season's official launch at the Italian venue on April 23-24. The 2022 calendar features a 10-event schedule with double-headers at each round. Iconic race tracks include Monza, Imola, Monaco, Spa Francorchamps, Mugello as well as F1 circuits Paul Ricad, Zandvoort, Hungaroring, Red Bull Ring, Barcelona.
Hamda is the second female driver to join the 2022 FRECA season, as Belén Garcia will compete in a partial campaign with G4 Racing.
2022 FRECA Calendar:
R1: Monza, Italy / 23-24 April
R2: Imola, Italy / 7-8 May
R3: Monaco, Monaco / 28-29 May
R4: Paul Ricad, France / 4-5 June
R5: Zandvoort, Netherlands / 18-19 June
R6: Hungaroring, Hungary / 9-10 July
R7: Spa Francorchamps, Belgium / 28-29 July
R8: Red Bull Ring, Austria / 10-11 September
R9: Barcelona, Spain / 15-16 October
R10: Mugello, Italy / 22-23 October