In 2023, the F1 Academy was introduced as an exclusive feeder series for female single-seater drivers, taking in numerous skilled racers from the now obsolete W Series.
Beginning next year, all 10 of the F1 teams will have the ability to designate one driver each to take their place in one of the 15 cars. The cars will also feature their respective livery. The remaining five slots will be occupied by drivers affiliated with other sponsors.
According to Susie Wolff, the managing director of the F1 Academy, this important achievement is a testament to the backing that the F1 Academy garners from the F1 fraternity. “This landmark moment not only demonstrates the depth of support for the F1 Academy from across the F1 community but will inspire a whole generation of young girls to realize the opportunities both on and off track in motorsport,” Wolff expressed.
Optimistic about the impact, she added, “As we join the F1 calendar for next year and host F1 Academy Discover Your Drive events leading up to our races, I am confident that we will have a positive effect across our sport in the long term.”
Stefano Domenicali, F1’s CEO, believes that partnering F1 Academy drivers with the ten existing teams is a progressive step towards establishing a system that propels skilled female drivers. “We created the F1 Academy to bring about real and lasting change to ensure young female talent have the right system in place to follow and achieve their dreams,” Domenicali relayed.
Emphasizing the significance of the initiative, he said, “Today is a very important moment as it shows the impact the project is having and the support it is receiving from across the F1 community. In 2024 the F1 Academy will join our race calendar, raising the awareness and profile of the series globally and to have the F1 liveries on the grid will be something very special.”
The reception of the F1 Academy’s launch in 2023 was diverse, mainly because there was no provision for live broadcasting, which drew major criticism. Marta Garcia, formerly a frontrunner of the W Series, is leading the 2023 championship with only six races left to run.