Starting in 2023, Formula 1 will be launching an all-female driver category, the F1 Academy to develop and prepare young female drivers to progress to higher levels of competition – including W Series, Formula 1, Formula 2 and Formula 3.
The series will consist of five teams run by current F2 and F3 teams, each entering three cars to make up a 15 car grid. The first season will comprise of seven events with three races – amounting to a total of 21 races – plus 15 days of official testing, with the 2023 calendar set to be released in due course.
The drivers will be getting behind the wheel f Tatuus T421 chassis, with Autotecnica supplying turbocharged engines that will deliver 165 horsepower while Formula 1’s Global Partner Pirelli will provide the tyres.
The series – which will be managed by the CEO of Formula Motorsport Bruno Michel – will see Formula 1 subsidise the cost of each car with a budget of €150,000 whilst the drivers cover the same amount of costs – a fraction of the usual costs in comparable series – with the teams covering the rest of the budget.
The aim of the series is to maximise the opportunity and potential of young female drivers to reach the highest level in motorsport and to provide young talent currently in go-karting or other junior categories with access to the fundamental level of experience needed before going racing in F3 and joining the pyramid to Formula 1.
Formula 1’s intentions are to ensure aspiring female drivers have the best opportunities to reach their potential, with an important first step of getting into Formula 3 and progressing through the ranks.
The W Series continues to provide a great platform for drivers and the F1 Academy is intended to add an extra route for the next generation of young female drivers, who will race in an environment that will allow them to gain fundamental experience thanks to a great amount of track time.
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.Formula 1 President & CEO, Stefano Domenicali.
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.Bruno Michel, Manager of the F1 Academy.