Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 5 views remaining

You have read 10 stories this month. After 15, you will need to register or subscribe.

Register with us for free to view 30 stories a month.

Or subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ for unlimited news stories and access to our exclusive subscriber-only content.

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 15 free page views per month. Once you reach the limit you can register to get 30 views or choose one of our value-for-money subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

  • Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
  • Full access to FORIX - the world's best motorsport statistics website

We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep AUTOSPORT at the forefront of motorsport coverage, and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.

Glenn Freeman Editor
Find out more about our subscriptions

Qatari Sheikh tries Williams F1 car

Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al-Thani, Williams test, Losail 2009His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al-Thani became the first Qatari to drive a Formula 1 car when he sampled the Williams team's 2009 car at Qatar's Losail circuit today.

Skeikh Khalid is a member of Qatar's ruling family and owner of the Al-Anabi drag racing teams which compete in America and the Middle East. He is also the head of the Qatar Motor City project, which aims to create a major circuit, drag and oval racing destination in the state.

Williams was running at Losail to complete some filming work, and gave Al-Thani a five-lap run after he had impressed the team in a simulator test at its UK base.

"The Williams FW31 is a remarkable vehicle, unlike any other race car I've ever driven," said Sheikh Khalid.

"Being the first Qatarian to drive a Formula 1 car was an amazing experience I will not forget. I am proud that I was able to experience this honour at home in the State of Qatar."

Team boss Sir Frank Williams added: "It was a privilege to be able to facilitate this historic first for His Highness and the State of Qatar today. The team of engineers that worked with Sheikh Khalid reported that he demonstrated considerable skill and aptitude in the DIL simulator at our headquarters near Oxford this week.

"Based on his established competition experience and competence in the DIL, we extended an additional invitation to enable His Highness Sheikh Khalid to drive the FW31, and he acquitted himself with honours."

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed