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UAE's Amna misses podium, conquers hearts

Ashwani Kumar/Abu Dhabi
Filed on December 1, 2019
Amna Al Qubaisi of the UAE drives her car during Race 2 of the F4 Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday. - Photo by Ryan Lim

The 19-year-old teenager had on Saturday won Race 1 of the F4 UAE Trophy Round. And on Sunday, she led from the opening lap at the Yas Marina Circuit. However, the Abu Dhabi Racing driver was forced to retire after being dramatically bumped off on turn 12 by Xcel Motorsport's Nicola Marinangeli

Emirati driver Amna Al Qubaisi missed out on a double podium opportunity at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - once in a blue moon sight at Formula One weekend.

The 19-year-old teenager had on Saturday won the Race 1 of the F4 UAE Trophy Round - Formula One's support race. And on Sunday, she led from the opening lap at Yas Marina Circuit. However, the Abu Dhabi Racing driver was forced to retire after being dramatically bumped off on turn 12 by Xcel Motorsport's Nicola Marinangeli. A visibly upset and angry Amna walked disappointingly into the pit lane.

The unfortunate end takes the sheen off what is otherwise a glorious outing for the Abu Dhabi native. She arguably became the first female on the podium during a race weekend. Amna has made a statement with her scintillating performance in Race 1 and Race 2 till it lasted.

This will hopefully find her new sponsors and assist her return to single-seater races of European circuit. She had competed in the 2018 Italian F4 Championship with Prema Powerteam. She also tested for Formula E at Ad Diriyah ePrix in Saudi Arabia - the first female racer from the region to do so. And earlier this year, she had attempted to qualify for the W Series - an all-female single-seater racing championship.

There were ominous signs that Amna has already won lots of hearts and grabbed global attention with her heroics. W Series termed Amna's outing an 'amazing achievement'.

"This is absolutely amazing moment for Amna. She's a great talent and although she did sign up as a W Series qualifier, she decided to pull out before testing began."

F2 team Prema cheered her on Saturday and comforted the Emirati after Sunday's heartbreak.

"Amna Al Qubaisi is taken out of the race while leading! Such a shame!" Prema tweeted.  

Meanwhile, Amna's sister, Hamda too couldn't finish her Race 2 as the 17-year-old suffered a broken front wing mid-race which was eventually won by Alex Connor for Xcel Motorsport.

This experience is a good learning curve for Al Qubaisi sisters and hopefully open gates for new opportunities. On the 48th National Day, the country has found a new youth icon.

ashwani@khaleejtimes.com

 

 


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