UAE F4 driver Rashid Al Dhaheri, just 15 years old, requires the minimum age for single-seater racing and becomes the first driver from the Arab world to compete in the Ferrari Driver Academy Scouting World Final.
The United Arab Emirates has had a significant impact on the world of Formula One, with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix becoming a popular fixture on the F1 calendar. The UAE’s state-of-the-art Yas Marina circuit has hosted the event since 2009, attracting fans and drivers from around the world. In addition, the country’s investment in the sport has led to the establishment of several driving academies and partnerships with leading F1 teams. With the rise of Emirati talent such as Rashid Al Dhaheri, it is clear that the UAE’s impact on F1 will only grow stronger in the years to come.
UAE driver Rashid Al Dhaheri in F1
Rashid’s biggest dream at a young age is to make it into Formula 1, but his passion for the sport since he was a youngster is off to a great start. One of his primary goals is to “inspire young Arabs” he said, showing that it is possible for Emiratis to be in F1 too.
“My ultimate dream is to reach F1 with the help of my country,” he told The National.
Although the drivers around him in F4 are older and obviously more experienced, but he is fighting to maintain his status. His favorite driver is Fernando Alonso who has won the Formula 1 prize twice, Rashid has met him several times but the first time was at the Abu Dhabi circuit in 2011.
This young racing driver, who turned 15 on April 8, was introduced to the world of karting and racing at the age of 3 when he discovered the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the first time. It was from that moment on that he made it his passion at the age of 4 when he started participating in the karting races at Al Ain Raceway in Abu Dhabi. The adrenaline, the feeling of the first race and the speed quickly appealed to him.
“From that moment on, a fire was lit in me” “I knew what I wanted to do and be.” he told The National.
Rashid Al Dhaheri: the rising star of motorsport in the United Arab Emirates
Often mocked for his young age as the youngest to compete in these races, but he always fought to go ahead and achieve his goals, as despite going back and forth between the UAE where he practiced his racing and China where he and his family traveled for his father’s business trips. They decided his mother, sisters and himself to move to Italy in 2019.
Rashid Al Dhaheri finished second in his first race at Al Ain Raceway, trained in Italy, then became the youngest race driver in the UAE and won many awards: five times Dubai Kartdrome O-Plate champion, Macau International Karting Grand Prix champion and World Series of Karting champion.
His family says that he is a hard working boy to achieve his goals, if not on the race track, he is studying or playing sports. Although he knows how to drive at high speeds, he is still not allowed to drive on public roads.
He is making his F4 debut this year with his sponsor Prema Racing in Imola, Italy. Rashid always pays tribute to his origins by adding the flag, the falcon and quotes from President Sheikh Mohamed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. The country’s leaders who believed in his talent played a crucial role in his success.