(Motorsports) Formula 1 has announced ART, Campos, Carlin, MP motorsport and Prema as teams that will feature in the F1 Academy, the all-female racing series that will make its debut in 2023. The five teams have impressive racing pedigree in multiple junior categories with ART Grand Prix helping Victor Martins win Formula 3 while Prema Racing won F3 Team Champions. MP Motorsport secured both Driver and Teams Championships in Formula 2 with Carling finishing second in F2 Teams’ Championship.
The series will begin in 2023 and serve as a stepping stone for young women alongside the W series with the ultimate goal of getting more female participation in Formula 1. Lella Lombardi was the last female to participate in Formula 1 back in 1976. The calendar along with the drivers lineup will be announced in the coming months. Five teams will feature in the F1 Academy with three cars each, which would mean that a total of 15 cars will be on the grid. The inaugural season will have 21 races with seven three-race events and at least one Formula 1 weekend. Just like the W Series, drivers will compete in the Formula 4 chassis.
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, said: “It is exciting to be able to announce the five teams that will be racing in the F1 Academy for next year and who will be providing this fantastic opportunity to the young and talented women to begin their journey into competitive motorsport. We believe it is important that everyone has the chance to follow their ambitions and get the support and guidance needed to progress and excel. The F1 Academy is an important part of our plan to increase diversity and representation in motorsport and we are looking forward to the first season in 2023 and stay tuned for more news in this area.”
Formula 1 have said that each car will receive a funding of €150,000 (£130,000), which will need to be matched by the drivers in order to enter. They say that is a ‘fraction of the usual costs to enter comparable series’, and the rest of the budget will be provided by the teams.
Three time W Series champion Jamie Chadwick said “It (W Series) has been a life-changing opportunity for me over the past few years and for the other girls as well and everyone else involved in the series. It’s proven to be a very positive platform in providing these chances for us all to go racing. I really hope it can survive and continue on next year.
“From my side, I think anything we can do to encourage more girls into the sport is key. I think the fact that F1 has created a new opportunity for drivers to be doing that is fantastic. I’d love to see that alongside the W Series as well, and we can see more and more young girls get involved in the sport as a result of it.”