Susie Wolff expects F1 Academy to become a motorsports destination for girls

F1 Academy boss Susie Wolff expects the series to become the go-to destination for girls looking to make a career in motorsports
Susie Wolff wants to encourage female participation through F1 Academy
Susie Wolff wants to encourage female participation through F1 Academy

(Motorsport) The F1 Academy is an all-female driver category that will begin its inaugural season in April with the aim to develop the next generation of young drivers to progress into the higher levels. Susie Wolff was appointed managing director and made two appearances in 2014 and 2015 as a Williams development driver. After her retirement in 2015, Wolff became a Formula E team principal and an advocate for greater participation of women in all levels of motorsport. Wolff has also raced in DTM (German touring cars) and Formula Renault before leading the Venturi team in Formula E.

In an interview, Wolff said “I’ve been in those shoes racing an international karting level wondering how am I going to make the step-up into junior formula because it is a huge step to make and that’s why I think F1 Academy will be a destination for those young girls. I think the amount of track time, the fact that you’re with some of the top junior formula teams means that you’re on a great trajectory to starting your formula single-seater career and making the progression. That track time and that support network is going to be valuable for them to get the best out of themselves and really try and make the step up the ladder.”

The F1 Academy will feature 15 competing drivers which will be split across 5 teams and race 21 times across seven weekends. Wolff will report directly to F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali and will be responsible for leading the development of female motorsport talent and create a successful pyramid to progress into Formula 1. Wolff is optimistic that a female driver will feature on the Formula 1 grid sooner rather than later but has asked for expectations to be managed.

Susie Wolff said “I know that it’s possible for a woman to race at this level and from that perspective, that experience is so important, especially handing down that experience to the next generation. I think being in the paddock and with the full support of F1 behind the F1 Academy, it means we have all the right people and the decision makers looking and supporting us to make sure that when there is talent coming through.

“We need to manage expectations. It’s going to take time. It’s about increasing the talent pool, raising awareness and inspiring the next generation to come and to make this sport more accessible for those that want to enter. It’s definitely going to take a few years. I think we can have some real success in the short term, but to find a successful girl racing in Formula One, we need to think mid to long term, and that means we’ve got to be patient.”

Also read: Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton claims Mercedes didn’t listen to his concerns over 2023 car


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