The F1 Academy has announced a new global initiative to increase the participation of women in motorsport; the series indicates that only 5% of all Motorsport UK racing license holders are women; F1 Academy, Motorsport UK and TeamSport Karting have joined forces to deliver the program
Last update: 23/06/08 17:29
F1 Academy has launched F1 Academy Discover Your Drive, a global initiative which aims to increase the participation of women in motorsport on and off the track.
The program will focus on youth engagement, talent identification, participation and progression, and community, with women having the opportunity to participate in entry-level and professional programs.
The inaugural F1 Academy season is nearing the halfway mark, with Marta Garcia leading the championship 41 points ahead of Hamda Al Qubaisi after nine races.
“When we launched the F1 Academy in March, one of our main objectives was to increase the pool of talent entering our sport, both by strengthening the pool of drivers aiming to reach an elite level and by supporting those who want to pursue off-track roles,” said general manager Susie Wolff.
“The launch of the F1 Academy Discover Your Drive is an important step towards achieving this and as we join the global F1 calendar next year, the reach of the program will be enormous and will give us the platform to inspire many girls and young women around the world.
“Having the support of like-minded organizations like Motorsport UK and TeamSport Karting to set up our first national program is hugely important, and I look forward to seeing it grow and have a long-term impact.”
How will the F1 Academy Discover Your Drive work?
The last female driver to compete in an F1 weekend was Wolff herself for Williams at the 2014 British GP, when she took part in the first practice session. Lella Lombardi was the last driver to compete in the Grand Prix itself, in 1976, and she was the only woman to score points when she finished sixth at the 1975 Spanish GP.
The first talent identification program to be launched will be the F1 Academy Discover Your Drive Karting UK, where the next generation of karters hope to find themselves.
Motorsport UK, which paved the way for drivers such as Lando Norris and George Russell to F1, and TeamSport Karting will operate the program.
According to Motorsport UK, 45,000 young girls visit TeamSport sites each year, but only a small percentage make it to competition.
Those who impress will benefit from development sessions with TeamSport in order to compete in the junior levels of indoor karting.
Six venues will support the pilot program for the remainder of 2023, with the aim for all 35 TeamSport kart tracks to join the program next year.
This year’s F1 Academy Final at Circuit of the Americas will be part of the United States Grand Prix support bill on October 21-22, with all their rounds on F1 race weekends in 2024.
The next round of the championship this season will take place in Zandvoort on June 24 and 25.