Testing a two-year-old AMR21 for the Silverstone team in Hungary a fortnight ago, Jessica Hawkins has become the first woman to drive a near-current car since 2018. Her efforts earned her glowing commendation from team principal Mike Krack, who while appreciative of Hawkins’ performance, also remarked that at the age of 28, Jessica has a realistic perspective of her career direction.
Admittedly, Hawkins concedes that her odds of ascending the ranks of F3 and F2 to ultimately receive a super licence are farfetched. Nevertheless, she is of the conviction that she will remain a vector within the team in a simulation or testing role and concurrently transition her attention towards sportscar racing. Addressing Krack’s observation, Hawkins stated, “I am well aware. And let’s be real, I’m not too old. But I am very aware that there would be a very long process for me to go through to get to F1.”
She also avowed that other potential F1 opportunities should not be altogether discharged as she surmises, “They’ve not just given me an F1 drive to drive an F1 car. There are still other opportunities driving F1 cars that aren’t necessarily racing them.” Whilst contemplating on the likelihood of diverging to a career in LMP/GT, she asserted, “I haven’t written myself off, but equally I know that there’s more of a chance of a career down the LMP/GT route, than what there is in F1. But that doesn’t stop me from having a big influence with an F1 team.”
Hawkins emphasised that she wouldn’t have been considered for the test in Hungaroring if the team wasn’t confident about her capabilities. Initially recruited for a media role, Hawkins’ association within the team has accentuated over the last three years. From working extensively on the simulator to now having the opportunity to drive the car, she see her role continually expanding. She shared fondly, “I’m going to have a heavy involvement in our F1 Academy team, which is a role that I really wanted. I was pestering them to let me have an involvement! And they’ve given me a role to have a heavy involvement.”
When broached about Aston’s newly-announced Hypercar program in WEC and IMSA, Hawkins responded excitedly, “Of course it does. I don’t see why it couldn’t be an option moving forward.” Currently racing with the University of Wolverhampton in the Praga at the Britcar Prototype Cup, she eagerly expressed aspirations to race in the GT3, or GTE, or LMP categories. Despite her desire to assist the new generation of students, she reiterated, “I still want to be racing other things.”