Emirati driver Amna Al Qubaisi leads strong female contingent at Formula E test in Saudi Arabia

Kaspersky Lab sponsored Emirati racer Amna Al Qubaisi is set to lead a group of six female drivers at the Formula E rookie test in Saudi Arabia, with the 18-year-old set to take the driving seat for Envision Virgin.

The teenager, who is the first-ever female Emirati racing driver, will join a who’s who of racing talent hitting the streets of Ad Diriyah after the opening race of the fifth ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Amna Al Qubaisi will take her place in the Kaspersky Lab sponsored Envision Virgin Racing Team car on 16 December.

Ahead of next year’s W Series, the Formula E rookie test in Saudi Arabia has one of the most exciting and competitive line-ups of female drivers ever seen in motorsport. The event is made even more poignant by the fact that legislation allowing women to drive in the country, was only announced this year.

Acting as a vehicle for change and inspiration to women, Al Qubaisi will be joined on the streets of Ad Diriyah by Tatiana Calderon, Carmen Jorda, Beitske Visser, Katherine Legge and Simona de Silvestro in Formula E seats.

At just 18, Al Qubaisi is far younger than any of the other drivers but, like them, will be hoping that her performance can help her break the glass ceiling for female drivers and go on to make it into the upper echelons of global motorsport.

The UAE-born daughter of Le Mans racing driver Khaled Al Qubaisi started karting aged 13, quickly winning the UAE Rotax Max Challenge Championship. Global cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab spotted Amna’s raw talent and sponsored her immediately. The partnership has since seen Al Qubaisi compete in Formula 4 with Prema Theodore Racing.

Amna Al Qubaisi said: “This is a dream come true. I’m very proud to be representing women in general and especially Arabian women. A year ago, I would never have imagined this would be possible. This year, thanks to Kaspersky Lab, I became the first Arab female driver in Formula 4 and now, I will be the first in Formula E and will race around a track in Saudi Arabia that for so long did not allow women to drive. It is going to be a momentous occasion.

“I am grateful to Kaspersky Lab. The company’s continued support allows me to chase my goal of racing professionally. I am looking forward to stepping into Sam Bird and Robin Frijns’ shoes in the Envision Virgin Racing car as I am sure it will be pushing the likes of Jean-Eric Verge, Felipe Massa and Stoffel Vandoorne to the title this season. I will be proudly driving like a girl, a very fast one!”

Aldo Fucelli Pessot del Bo, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships at Kaspersky Lab, added: “This could be a seminal moment for female motorsport. For too long, in order to be a successful racing driver, you have had to be skilled, determined, competitive, brave and physically fit, but more importantly, you have had to be a man. Gender does not determine speed and Kaspersky Lab firmly believes that female and male racing drivers should compete against one another on equal terms and be given the same opportunities.

“We are proud to sponsor Amna Al Qubaisi, who at 18 is showing all the hallmarks of becoming a racing great and will be the youngest female racer on the track in Saudi Arabia. We have to thank Sylvain Filippi and the whole Envision Virgin Racing team who did not hesitate to give her this opportunity.”

Kaspersky Lab has been a leader in the evolution of cybersecurity for the last 21 years. Its goal is to protect people and organizations from online attacks and build awareness about the need for protection to go beyond just having an anti-virus solution. The company is a passionate supporter of motorsport and is the cybersecurity and technology partner for the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One racing team and the Envision Virgin Racing Formula E Team.

“Kaspersky Lab always comes to us with great ideas and we jumped at the chance to work with Amna, is one of the most talented teenage drivers around. We are delighted to have her as part of the team for the race weekend and for us to get a closer look at how she drives. She’s incredibly talented and we are in no doubt that she’ll do a fantastic job and make a statement about the future of motorsport,” added Envision Virgin Racing Managing Director, Sylvain Filippi.

The Formula E rookie test takes place on Sunday 16 December, the day after the ABB FIA Formula E Ad Diriyah E-Prix.

For more information, please visit https://www.kaspersky.com/about/sponsorships.

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About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity company, which has been operating in the market for over 20 years. Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.

About Envision Virgin Racing

The Envision Virgin Racing Formula E Team is one of the founding and leading outfits in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship – the electric street racing series and the world’s first fully-electric international single-seater category.

With new majority team shareholder Envision, together with the continued support of Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, the team works in partnership together to power innovation.

The team’s commercial headquarters are based in London, whilst its operational arm is centred at new state-of-the-art facilities at Silverstone.

Now in its fifth season, the team remains one of the most successful on the grid with numerous wins and podiums to its name, and one of only a handful of teams to have recorded victories in every Formula E season to date. Its driver line-up this season is British driver Sam Bird and Dutch racer Robin Frijns.

For further information visit www.envisionvirginracing.com.