Anyone who wants to see how things went last weekend in the first races of the F1 Academy, the new class of racing for young female drivers, would do well to keep an eye on the Formula 1 YouTube channel this Monday. . There will be highlights of the games.
While Max Verstappen was busy on Saturday with the first sprint race of the season in Baku, the first F1 Academy races took place at the Red Bull Ring in Austria without live footage. Fifteen female drivers, including the Dutch Emely de Heus, were at the start last weekend. The F1 Academy, founded by Formula 1, aims to give women more career opportunities in motorsport’s premier class.
It’s been a while since a female driver competed in a Formula 1 race. The last time was with Lella Lombardi in 1976. In a bid to change that, Formula 1 announced the arrival from the F1 Academy last year.
Ability to make the change
Fifteen female drivers across five teams will compete in the series. A total of 21 races will take place over seven race weekends, including three at Circuit Zandvoort at the end of June. Each weekend has two qualifying sessions and three races. The season ends in October in Austin (Texas), where the United States Grand Prix is also held that day. It is also the only time the Academy meets Formula 1.
Formula 1 is financing the project with more than two million euros. Last year, the W series – the class that was set up to give women the chance to make the transition to Formula 1 – had to come to an abrupt halt in the third season due to lack of money and even canceled the last three races.
Now, with the F1 Academy, another attempt is underway to give female talent a chance. Still, a female Formula 1 driver seems like a long-term process. “I think it will be another ten years before we see a woman on the starting grid again,” said Susie Wolff, former driver and director of the F1 Academy. The Guardian.
The problem is always growth
“I have to temper expectations because there are not just any women in Formula 1,” said Wolff, wife of Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. “The problem is always the growth of women in motorsport. There are no role models either, because a woman who loves Formula 1 and turns on the TV only sees men.
Not that this problem is solved with the arrival of the F1 Academy. The games are nowhere to be found, while a major problem with the W series has been the lack of visibility and publicity. Fans will only see the results through posts on Twitter and Instagram on matchdays.
Videos to appear later will also feature Dutch Emely de Heus, who drives for Dutch team MP Motorsport at the F1 Academy. The 20-year-old also took part in the W series last year. At the opening weekend in Austria, it made a modest start. She was only able to score points in the second of three races, where she finished sixth.
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Verstappen retains the top spot in the championship. He saw Pérez, who also won the sprint race on Saturday, catch up. The Mexican is still 6 points behind: 93 to 87.
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