Formula One has announced the launch of an all-female driver category, the F1 Academy, which will kick off from 2023. The aim of the category is to develop and train the young female drivers to help them move ahead of higher levels of competitions, which include Formula 3, Formula 2, W Series and Formula 1.
The first season, which will get underway from 2023, will have a total of seven events consisting of three races each along with 15 days of testing. All drivers will be driving a Tatuus T421 chassis with an Autotecina turbocharged engine which will have Pirelli tyres.
Teams will also be given a budget of €150,000 for each car, while drivers will also have a similar budget. Formula Motorsports Limited’s CEO Brunco Michel has been announced as the General Manager and will be the one running the series.
The F1 Academy’s main goal lies in providing opportunities to young female drivers and also help them develop their skill as they strive to make it to the highest level of motorsport.
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula One, commented:
“Everyone should have the opportunity to follow their dreams and achieve their potential and Formula 1 wants to ensure we are doing everything we can to create greater diversity and routes into this incredible sport. That is why I am delighted to announce the F1 Academy that 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.“
Ellen Jones, Head of Sustainability at Formula One, stated:
“In 2019 we launched our sustainability strategy which included the commitment to build a more diverse and inclusive sport by removing barriers, nurturing talent, and inspiring change. Over the past few years, we have been making progress within our own operations and in the classroom through programmes such as internships and F1 Engineering Scholarships. Today’s announcement marks the next step in inspiring talent behind the visor to help ensure young female drivers get the very best opportunity to begin their professional motorsport career and climb the ladder to the top.“
Bruno Michel, General Manager of the F1 Academy, added:
“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. Our goal is to see female drivers on the F3 grid in the next two to three years, and for them to quickly 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.“
Catherine Bond Muir, CEO, W Series, stated:
“W Series created the first platform for women in motorsport which has inspired young girls all around the world since our inaugural season in 2019. It is fantastic to see this grow as a result of our pioneering work. W Series welcomes any initiative which shares our ambition to provide more opportunities for women in motorsport. Our objective from the start has always been to increase the talent pool of women racing drivers, and the addition of the F1 Academy as a feeder to W Series and other series is a further step in inspiring the next generation to progress up the motorsport ladder.
“We are looking forward to finalising W Series’ plans for 2023 and beyond, providing exciting racing and entertaining our fans around the world. Our mission is still clear: to offer women racing drivers a platform to race globally at the pinnacle of women’s motorsport, and in doing so continue to spread our message further and wider.“