F1 Academy to open in 2023 with all-female racing series

It will offer females access to more track time, racing and testing and prepare them for competitions



by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sat 19 Nov 2022, 5:02 PM

Formula One is set to launch the F1 Academy for females next year, top officials announced at the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2022.

The new academy seeks to develop and prepare female drivers for competitions like W Series, F1, F2 and F3, and hopefully one day compete with boys in F1.

“Everyone should have the opportunity to follow their dreams and achieve their potential and F1 wants to ensure we are doing everything we can to create greater diversity and routes into this incredible sport,” Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said.

During assessments of the barriers young female drivers face with entering the F1 pyramid, it became clear that they do not have the same amount of experience as their male counterparts at the same age.

Domenicali said the academy will bridge the gap and offer females access to more track time, racing and testing.

The F1 Academy, he said will “give young female drivers the best chance to fulfil their ambitions through a comprehensive programme that supports their racing careers and gives them everything they need to move into F3 and hopefully to F2 and then the pinnacle of Formula 1. The more opportunity there is the better and this is designed to provide another route for the drivers to succeed.”

The all-female racing series will consist of five teams run by current F2 and F3 teams, each entering three cars to make up a 15-car grid. The first season will comprise seven events with three races each resulting in a total of 21 races.

Bruno Michel, general manager of the F1 Academy, noted that F1 will subsidise the cost of each car with a budget of 150,000 euros, which needs to be matched by the drivers too to participate.

“I am very excited to launch this new category. Diversity is extremely important in motorsport, and with the F1 Academy we will prove that female drivers have what it takes to compete at high levels. I am absolutely convinced that if young women are given the same amount of experience as any other driver, they can successfully make their way through the pyramid.”

Michel noted that female drivers will be on the F3 grid in the next two to three years, and challenge for points and podiums.

“The aim is to increase the field in the near future, because we hope that this category will inspire more young girls to compete in motorsport at the highest of levels,” Michel noted.

The drivers will be getting behind the wheel of Tatuus T421 chassis, with Autotecnica supplying turbocharged engines that will deliver 165 horsepower, while Formula 1’s Global Partner Pirelli will provide the tyres.

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