Debuting in 2023, the F1 Academy is the latest addition to the sport which is focused on developing young female drivers for higher levels of competition.
The all-female competition will consist of five separate teams, each one of which will be run by current F2 or F3 constructors.
Each of those teams will enter three cars per race making for a 15-car grid with the official schedule set to be announced in due course.
The first season will be made up of seven events though with each event being comprised of three separate races. There will also be 15 days of official testing on top of the 21 race calendar.
In simple terms, the new series is to provide more accessibility to the sport for female drivers and in the words of the FIA, “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.”
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What are the rules in F1 Academy?
Although the all-new F1 Academy was announced back in mid-November 2022, relatively little is still known about how the scoring system will work.
As mentioned previously, five teams will enter three separate cars for the 21 races that have been announced.
There will also be 15 days of official testing before the new season, whilst we also know that all of the cars will be mechanically identical and will be built upon a Tatuus chassis.
It has further been announced that the series will be managed by the CEO of Formula Motorsport Limited, Bruno Michel.
At the launch press conference, Michel stated, “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.”
He added: “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.”
Who are the F1 Academy drivers?
Similarly to other areas of the new F1 Academy series, the driver line up for the inaugural campaign in 2023 is still yet to be revealed.
As we know, 15 female drivers will make up the grid during the inaugural running of the F1 Academy. F1 have stated that the driver line up will be announced in due course.
List of F1 Academy drivers in 2023
|TBC||ART Grand Prix|
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Who are the teams in F1 Academy?
The five teams for the upcoming F1 Academy series in 2023 will all be run by current F2 or F3 constructors.
Those five teams have now been confirmed as ART Grand Prix, Campos Racing, Carlin, MP Motorsport and PREMA Racing.
All five outfits already hold strong pedigree in the sport and all produced stellar campaigns throughout 2022 in particular.
ART Grand Prix driver Victor Martins won the the Formula 3 crown whilst PREMA Racing became F3 Team Champions. Elsewhere, MP Motorsport secured both the Driver and Teams’ Championships in F2 with Felipe Drugovich at the helm, Carlin finished second in the F2 Teams’ Championship and Campos Racing won the Spanish F4 title.
Current F1 president Stefano Domenicali said after the unveiling; “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.”
He added: “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.”
How are the cars in F1 Academy designed?
The FIA has recently announced the specifications of the cars that female drivers will use during the upcoming F1 Academy series in 2023.
In a short statement they explained that, “the drivers will be getting behind the wheel of Tatuus T421 chassis, with Autotecnica supplying turbocharged engines that will deliver 165 horsepower.”
They also added that Formula 1’s Global Partner Pirelli will provide the tyres for the new series.
From a funding perspective, Formula 1 will subsidise the cost of each car with a budget of up to €150,000. On top of that, the drivers will cover the same amount of costs with the teams covering the rest of the budget that is needed.
Has there been a women’s F1 series before?
There has been a female-only racing championship before, the W Series, which is expected to return in 2023.
The last season of the sport was curtailed early in 2022 due to funding troubles, though it’s hoped that the W Series will be back and bigger than ever in 2023.
First held back in 2019, the W Series was most recently made up of 18 drivers and in 2022 raced around Silverstone, Paul Ricard, the Hungaroring, the Marina Bay Circuit, Barcelona and Miami.
British driver Jamie Chadwick has so far won all three prior W Series championships and as a result, has become a development driver for the Williams Formula One team, though many fans and pundits alike think that she should be in a higher position in the sport.
The new F1 Academy is seen to add an extra route for the next generation of young female drivers to reach the upper echelons of the sport.