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The F1 Academy: Will the all female serious succeed?

The F1 Academy: Will the women only serious succeed?

The F1 Academy: Will the all female serious succeed?

Formula One is always at the forefront of technology. Teams work hard to get the best out of their cars within the framework provided by F1 and the season is always a tremendous spectacle.

F1 continues to make changes to the regulations but as we enter the 2023 season, the drivers will all be male. A major step to changing that fact could come in the way of the F1 Academy.

What is the F1 Academy?

The F1 Academy is a new championship created by Formula 1 specifically for women drivers. The creation of the F1 Academy was announced in November 2022 and the focus of the academy is to nurture young female drivers and prepare them for progression to the higher levels of motor racing.

There are five teams in the F1 Academy and they each have three cars, meaning there will be a total of 15 cards on the grid for each race. There will be 21 races completed over seven rounds and the season finale will take place at the US Grand Prix.

The signed-up teams are ART, Campos, Carlin, MP Motorsport, and Prema. The official test session for the season will take place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in April and the season will begin on April 28-29 in Spielberg, Austria. Each race will feature two qualifying sessions and three races.

There will be two 30-minute races and one 20-minute race. The points system for the two 30-minute races will match F1, meaning the top ten drivers will receive points based on their position from first to tenth as follows: 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1.

Females in F1

Lella Lombardi

Within the current regulations, there is nothing to stop female drivers from entering F1 but there are currently no females drivers participating in F1. You must go back to 1976 to find the last time a female driver participated in a Grand Prix, but it was James Hunt and Niki Lauda who stole the headlines during that season.

Lella Lombardi was the only female to race during the season while Divina Galica entered three F1 races but failed to make the grid.

One of the main reasons female drivers have found it tough to progress to F1 is the lack of funding. Having talent is only part of what is required to make it in F1, and it can cost millions to take a young driver through an F3 season.

The F1 Academy has been created to make it easier for female drivers to compete and comes on the back of the W Series, which was created in 2019. The W Series was free to enter but remained separate from F1 and provided no path through to racing in a Grand Prix.

The W Series has faced financial issues and the 2022 season was forced to end three races early, which was hugely disappointing for all those involved.

Will the F1 Academy Produce a Female F1 Driver?

It is difficult to predict if the F1 Academy will produce a female F1 driver. However, the F1 Academy could break down the barriers that have prevented women from participating in F1 races.

The further drivers go up the ladder of racing, the more expensive it becomes and without proper backing, it is impossible to break through to F1. Sponsors may be more willing to back a female driver who has performed well in F1 Academy races.

As the races fall under the F1 brand, it will create more attention and give female drivers the opportunity to show off their skills to a wider audience.