25 women racers to take part in “shoot-out” for place on Ferrari Driver Academy

2020 F1 season

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The FIA has announced a new initiative with Ferrari to promote more women into single-seater motorsport.

Places on the Ferrari Driver Academy, which brought the likes of Charles Leclerc into Formula 1, will be offered through the FIA’s new Girls On Track – Rising Stars programme.

A “shoot-out” between 25 drivers selected from five continents will take place at the Winfield Racing School at the Paul Ricard circuit in October, the FIA announced. A dozen of those will progress to karting and Formula 4 training camps.

A select group of four will then get to spend a week’s course with the Ferrari Driver Academy. The best of these may be offered a year’s placement on the academy with a place in a Formula 4 championship, with the option of a further year.

The programme, which is also backed by Pirelli, has been confirmed for an initial four-year run, with a call for new entries to the scheme going out in 2021.

“We are firm believers in the value of helping youngsters develop in motor sport,” said Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto. “The FDA has been operating for over a decade now, not just purely and simply selecting the best drivers, but also working on their cultural, technical and ethical education.

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“With this in mind, we felt we had to make a further effort to expand our area of operation to include female youngsters who want to get on in motor sport. Although there is no actual barrier to their participation, we are aware that it is harder for women to progress in this field.

“That’s why we have responded enthusiastically to the FIA initiative and we believe that we can help introduce even more young women to this fantastic sport. Who knows, maybe one day we will once again see a woman competing in a Formula 1 world championship race for the first time since 1976.”

Ferrari’s nine-strong driver academy roster current features Mick Schumacher, Giuliano Alesi, Marcus Armstrong, Callum Ilott, Robert Shwartzman, Enzo Fittipaldi, Gianluca Petecof, Arthur Leclerc and Dino Beganovic.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “25 women racers to take part in “shoot-out” for place on Ferrari Driver Academy”

  1. Very good news. Bravo, Ferrari.

  2. Did that have to do with the “settlement”? :)

  3. I spot three things in that lineup.

    Mick Schumacher.
    Majority are male.
    The Woman in the picture is not a driver.

    1. @jureo That is Marco Matassa, LOL.

    2. Well yeah, that’s the list of the current Ferrari juniors drivers, and they are all male (I think), hence launching a program looking for women!

  4. More virtue signalling…

    What about young disadvantaged men who would never get the chance?

    1. William Jones
      12th June 2020, 16:20

      Well Roger, identify the group that you feel is disadvantaged, campaign for all the years that women fans have been campaigning for to have their disadvantages recognised and gain a groundswell of support, and your group too will get something similar.

      While you sit back and type angry green ink letters on the lower half on the internet, you will achieve exactly nothing, except coming across as jealous that you can’t have what they have without putting in the work and effort that they did.

      1. Wow what a reposte!

      2. Still doesn’t answer my question.

        Fast tracking women into places disadvantaged men would never get the chance is biased and sexist.

        Very much like forced diversity its actually just as bad as no diversity.

        A talented karting girl would have more than enough support to get straight to F1 if she was consistently winning.

  5. I hate to break the news, but as soon as HAM retires, the closest F1 will have to a non-white eastern european driver is Albon. (For all effects Perez is white.)
    Maybe the fact that no one is pointing to that in the current climate, might show how niche F1 became.

    1. @Gusmaia Albon isn’t Eastern European.

      1. I meant western european.
        I know he runs under the Thai flag and was born in London, but he will be single out when the accusation of “non-diverse” come in F1’s direction. He would be the only one that does not look like that picture above.
        I pointed to that as this will probably be a biggest PR problem to F1 than no female driver.
        This and the expectation a couple of female drivers will have stable F1 careers in the next decade.
        Japanese love F1, invest a lot of money on the sport, promote junior series, and got what, two, three podiums in unusual circumstances.
        It is possibly that there some hidden gem of a F1 driver in a girl somewhere, but I dont see how they keep a seat when Bottas is supposedly “out next season” when he is 0.1 sec from Hamilton, or many ridicule Grosjean as he spins every other race.

      2. How about … “non-white, non European”.
        In trying to be non-racist, how is this really “non racist”.? A challenging problem.

    2. *western european

  6. If the girls are good enough to be drivers in their own right, and I have no doubt they are, they should compete fairly against boys instead of being given free rides. Please bring back the Pirelli calendars and grid girls. They are a great way for young women to be involved in motorsport.

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