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F1 Academy Austrian Grand Prix Race Preview

F1 Academy 2023: Austrian Grand Prix race preview

April 27, 2023

F1 Academy is an all-female driver series aimed at developing and growing the young, up-and-coming female drivers, getting them ready for the highest level of motorsport.

The inaugural F1 Academy season is set to have seven events with three races each, which means a total of 21 races. It kicks off from April 28 in Spielberg, Austria. 

The first season will have 15 drivers on the grid, with the likes of ART, Campos Racing, Carlin, MP Motorsport and PREMA Racing all fielding three cars each. 

Ahead of the first-ever F1 Academy race weekend, we look at a few possibilities in this article.

MP Motorsport look strong contenders

MP Motorsport were not only on the pace during testing but also showed strong reliability. Amna Al Qubaisi completed a total of 140 laps, while her teammate Emely de Heus managed 152.

Al Qubaisi also was right in the mix among the top half of the time-sheets, finishing with the third-fastest time overall. She topped the first session at Circuit Paul Ricard as well.

With strong pace and reliability, MP Motorsport certainly look like one of the favourites heading into Round 1.

Will PREMA Racing live up to the hype?

Among all the different feeder series, there is one name that dominates them all, and that is of PREMA Racing. Once it was announced that PREMA would have a team in F1 Academy, they automatically became one of the favourites, and pre-season testing proved why they are considered one of the strongest on the grid.

Marta García kicked off PREMA’s pre-season testing and held the timing for the fastest lap in the morning session, while her teammate Bianca Bustamante put in another strong show in the other sessions. Reliability was also strong for PREMA, as Chloe Chong chalked up the second-most number of laps during the session. García ended as the fastest driver, while Bustamante was the fourth fastest. 

Early signs are positive for PREMA, and they head into the Austrian race as favourites. 

Rodin Carlin hold an outside chance

Rodin Carlin were one of the stronger teams during testing at Circuit Paul Ricard, with Abbi Pulling topping both the afternoon sessions. However, while Pulling, an Alpine Academy member, was on the top of the sheets for two sessions, her teammates Jessica Edgar and Megan Gilkes finished further down the table.

While Carlin are one of the stronger teams in British F4, they don’t seem like outright favourites to start with. That said, Pulling, who has a full season of W Series under her belt, can spring a few surprises. 

Austrian Grand Prix schedule

Friday, April 28: Free Practice 1

Friday, April 28: Free Practice 2

Friday, April 28: Qualifying 1

Friday, April 28: Qualifying 2

Saturday, April 29: Race 1

Saturday, April 29: Race 2

Saturday, April 29: Race 3

(All times IST)

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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