Formula 1 is committed to “feminizing” itself with new initiatives and competitions

PARIS.- The Formula 1 tries to become feminized, with new initiatives and competitions that offer new opportunities for young women to access a theoretically mixed sport, but in practice largely male.

In more than 70 editions of worldonly two women have started a Grand Prix: Maria Theresa of Philippis in 1958 and Lella Lombardi in 1975 and 1976.

Although his presence on the grid has sparked debates for years, The truth is that for almost half a century no woman has reached the elite as a starter.

Although some of them, such as Susie Wolffformer test driver for the team Williamshave played key roles from the shadows.

An absence that the Scotswoman explains by the low presence of girls at the base: “Only a handful of young women practice this sport“.

So we must increase the talent pool and to do this we must raise people’s awareness and create opportunities.“he explained to AFP.

New try:

For this reason, in 2023 a competition reserved for female pilots was launched. Named ‘F1 Academy‘, starts with the challenge of leading the drivers to the upper echelons of the sport of motorsport.

Unlike this year, starting next year the seven tests of this new championship will be organized on F1 weekends. In addition, each of the ten teams present in F1 will participate and will appoint a female driver, “a good thing,” he estimates. Martha Garciafirst champion of the F1 Academy.

“It’s what we need (…) to make everyone see that we are there and that we also pilot“continues the Spaniard.

The championship follows the W-Series, a competition that is also 100% female and that, due to lack of meansended in 2022.

But unlike the W-Series, “we are incredibly lucky to have the Formula 1 behind”, recognizes Wolff, since it is Formula One, promoter of the discipline, which is at the origin of F1 Academy.

Against a female Formula 1:

When its creation was announced at the end of 2018, Several voices were raised against the organization of a 100% women’s championshipconsidered a good idea, but counterproductive.

The pilot Sophia Floersch She had been very critical at the time, asserting that it was “going in the wrong direction.”

“I still think the same thing” regarding the F1 Academyacknowledges the German, the only woman present this season in Formula 3, anteroom of the Formula 2, that opens the doors to F1.

“At university, women and men study together because it is normal. In our sport, it should also be normal for men and women to compete together. “Why make a series only for women?” he asked AFP.