Hamda Al Qubaisi makes history claiming 3rd podium in Italian F4 Championship at Misano

Hamda Al Qubaisi makes history claiming 3rd podium in Italian F4 Championship at Misano

Hamda Al Qubaisi made history as first female to gain podium finish in Italian F.4 Championship Race 1 at Misano in the weekend. Racing first full season under PREMA Powerteam, the 18 year old UAE driver not only delivered stellar performance over 3 races but broke precedent on woman finishing in top 3 against 98% male driver F4 grid.

Hamda Al Qubaisi Italian F4 Championship 3rd podium Race 1 Photo Credit: ACI Sport.

Having raced Opening Round at Paul Ricard circuit 4 weeks back, Hamda had plenty to mull over after finishing the weekend’s racing in 30th, 27th and 29th from 3 races. Coming into Round 2 at Misano, Hamda proved her worth number of times over, holding off pressure to retain 3rd position all the way to the chequered flag in Race 1, and completing Race 2 and 3 in 20th and 9th position respectively.

Currently standing 11th Overall after 2 Rounds, there are number of questions to answer on how such a talented young female driver can eclipse far more experienced drivers given the teenager only raced full season in Formula 4 UAE Series in 2020.

Sure, there were all indications that Hamda had character traits of courage, determination, and commitment to fulfill deep passionate desire to race, as well as surrounded by family whose own attributes remain well in tune with what it takes to compete in Motorsport. Most notably, Hamda’s father has achieved number of victories on the track, top podiums in 24 Hour of Le Mans would head the list, as well as Hamda’s older sister Amna, whose own single-seater racing career has developed to competing in 2021 F3 Asian Championship.

Yet, even as Hamda shares her thoughts on what the journey has been like so far in recent documentary by Ilona Szekeres, Formula racing requires sole driver’s performance on track, backed by solid Team commitment to deliver racing car capable of competing at the highest possible level. As Hamda has learnt, not one driver will let you pass with ease, not one race repeats in exact same way, and not embracing each challenge as learning curve would certainly limit progression.

Hamda Al Qubaisi taking the win in 2020 Formula 4 UAE Series

Which begs the question- how has Hamda managed to take on board Formula racing in short period of time? How has the teenager made such remarkable progress within industry regarded as gender-bias where tradition speaks louder than change? And, how has Hamda achieved top results having grown up within cultural history whereby women are not generally seen racing?

To make clear, Hamda and family have achieved racing career goals based on self-belief that working hard to gain fulfilment in chosen field remains key ingredients for personal and professional growth. Focus, education, and management of skills are central for Hamda, Amna and family to realize how each wants to succeed, in today’s world of international communications.

For Hamda, taking all capabilities as far as possible, remains step by step process, with each achievement paving pathway for next. Unexpectedly, podium success was sooner than Hamda thought, though only precursor on what will follow.

Header photo: Hamda Al Qubaisi Italian F4 Championship Photo Credit: ACI Sports.

Words: Sharon Cox.

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