The newly formed Red Bull Academy Programme is supporting F1 Academy by sponsoring three drivers and their cars who will compete in the 2024 F1 Academy Season for MP Motorsport.
The Red Bull Academy Programme is welcoming three drivers: Hamda Al Qubaisi driving for Red Bull Racing, Amna Al Qubaisi driving for Visa Cash App RB and Emely De Heus driving for Red Bull. The Programme’s investment marks a commitment to the future of women’s motorsport. Further sponsors of the three cars and drivers in association with Red Bull Racing, Visa Cash App RB and Red Bull are set to be revealed in the coming weeks.
Red Bull Academy Programme
Three new cars will enter the grid for the 2024 season, operated by MP Motorsport and driven by the Drivers of the Red Bull Academy Programme, which is led by Sarah Harrington, the Red Bull Academy Programme Manager. The Programme is delighted to welcome the new talented drivers to its roster.
Hamda Al Qubaisi, aged 21, is driving for Red Bull Racing for the 2024 season. She started her racing career in karts in 2015, progressing through the IAME X30 Championships before moving to Italian F4 in 2019. In 2020, the Emirati driver won three races in UAE F4 before making a return to Italian F4 and subsequently the FIA F3 test at Magny-Cours. In 2023 she raced in F1 Academy with MP Motorsport, finishing third overall in the Driver’s Standings with four first place finishes and a total of 207 points.
Emely De Heus, aged 20, is driving for Red Bull for the 2024 season. She started racing in karts in 2019 and has claimed the Dutch Wintercup Senior series title, finishing fourth in the National Championship in 2020 before moving up to single seaters. A campaign in Spanish F4 in 2021 was followed with a switch to W Series where De Heus debuted with points in Miami. In 2023 the Dutch driver raced in the UAE Formula 4 Championship with MP Motorsport and competed in F1 Academy with the Dutch Team. She finished ninth in the Driver’s Standings with 87 points and a best finish of first place in Barcelona.
Amna Al Qubaisi, aged 23, is driving for Visa Cash App RB for the 2024 season. She began her karting career when she was 14 years old and has raced in multiple Championships since. Appearances at the Rotax Max Challenge World Finals, X30 Euro Series and Italian X30 Championships brought strong results and she moved up to Italian F4 for 2018. The Emirati driver has since made appearances in Formula 4 UAE, F3 Asian and, most recently, Formula Regional European Championships. In 2023 she raced in F1 Academy with MP Motorsport finishing sixth overall in the Driver’s Standings, with two first place finishes in Spielberg and Barcelona and a total of 117 points.
Red Bull’s Commitment
F1 Academy marks a major step forward for women drivers’ progression to the next level in motorsport and helps provide a pathway to ensure they can fulfil their potential. The series further aims to provide the ever-growing fan base unprecedented coverage and accessibility to the sport.
The Red Bull Academy Programme recognises that historically there have been barriers for women in motorsport and, with its sponsorship of three drivers and cars competing in the series, strives to be at the heart of diversity and equality within our sport. It aims to encourage more women to not just be fans of motorsport but get behind the wheel from a young age and provide role models and a pathway to get to the next level.
The Red Bull Academy Programme further extends Red Bull’s long legacy of developing talent, giving wings to young athletes in motorsport and beyond.
The Programme has already had an unparalleled level of interest from existing partners, all of whom are committed to providing opportunities for women in traditionally male dominated industries, whether as drivers, engineers or in other sectors. There is worldwide appetite commercially to invest in women’s sport, one of the biggest growing sectors, marking an important moment for the growth of women’s motorsport.
Sarah Harrington, Red Bull Academy Programme Manager said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming Hamda, Emely and Amna, three incredibly talented drivers, into the Red Bull Academy Programme and are looking forward to working with them closely this season. This is a landmark moment for us and is testament to our complete commitment to the future of women’s motorsport. F1 Academy provides an opportunity to promote genuine change in our industry and this is a great stepping-stone to help ensure that the drivers progress to the next level. This is a pivotal moment for women in motorsport and we are excited to see what this season brings”.
Sander Dorsman, MP Motorsport’s Team Principal said: “I’m happy to confirm Hamda, Amna and Emely as our F1 Academy line-up for 2024 and as members of the Red Bull Academy programme. This means we will stick with the drivers whose talent we are familiar with – all three have already become true members of the MP Motorsport family in recent years. Together, we look forward to a challenging new F1 Academy season in which we hope to repeat and further improve on our strong 2023 results. Hamda proved to be one of the title favourites while Amna and Emely each took their wins. And since we narrowly missed out on the teams’ title last year, we hope to go one better this year! Also, I’m grateful for Red Bull’s unwavering support of our efforts and we aim for a successful partnership together.”
The 2024 F1 Academy series is set to compete across seven locations. The season commences in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on March 7-9.