Beitske Visser, W Series, Brands Hatch, 2020

FIA-Ferrari programme “a very good step” towards promoting women in motorsport

W Series

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Beitske Visser, the runner-up in the first ever W Series championship for women racers last year, praised the FIA and Ferrari’s new initiative to promote female competitors.

The programme, announced on Thursday, will give 25 young women racers the chance to compete for a place on the Ferrari Driver Academy, which helped drivers such as Charles Leclerc into Formula 1.

“I think it is a very good step,” said Visser. “Like W Series want as well, they want to progress us to go further into motorsport and this new programme that the FIA and Ferrari are launching together, they have the same goal.

“So I think that’s good. We’ll see, hopefully, some good girls will go out of there.”

Visser was speaking following her successful start to W Series’ new Esports League, winning two of the three opening races at Monza. Despite spinning out on the first lap of the reverse-grid second race, she ended the round three points ahead of rival Irina Sidorkova on top of the standings.

“I’ve always been quite good on simulators,” said Visser. “When I look at the past, like when I was driving in formula cars we were always quicker on simulators before every race. I was always quite good at that.

“It’s hard to say for others but I’ve definitely put in a lot of practice. I know Irina has as well, probably some of the other girls have spent also hours on the simulator.”

While W Series has abandoned plans to hold is second championship this year due to the pandemic, Visser is due to resume real-world competition soon.

“I am lucky enough to also have a contract with BMW and they are based in Germany – within Europe we are a lot more free to travel so I will be starting to race with them quite soon again. So I’m very happy about that at least so I can keep racing.”

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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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9 comments on “FIA-Ferrari programme “a very good step” towards promoting women in motorsport”

  1. Maybe worth mentioning the W-series -esports league managed to get the complete line-up in and is using iRacing. Also, Beitske Visser is streaming quite regularly lately.

  2. I’m just happy to see the other half of the worlds population included.

    1. No has ever been excluded.

      1. Women have been excluded from the virtual F1 season.

        1. Were they excluded, or simply not selected?
          Or even not interested – given as how many male drivers chose not to participate also?

          1. David Beverley
            15th June 2020, 15:08

            Dude, really. By not being selected it means they were excluded. I’m sure at least a handful would’ve jumped at the chance to race in a grid with Leclerc, Albon, Norris, Russell etc. By no means do i want the whole grid to be taken over by women. But i honestly think if a few women prove they’re good enough, they deserve to be in F1. It would make a change from the sausage-fest.

          2. But are there, at the moment, women in motorsport who are good enough for F1?

            Chadwick might be half decent, we’ll have to wait and see, but Visser, who was runner-up was well outperformed in a lot of series, not scoring a single podium in 3 seasons formula Renault 3.5.

            Whenever there is a women who is quick enough, F1-teams will fight for her, as it would be a great marketing-tool and role in a lot of sponsors.

    2. 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.

  3. Hope this helps motivating Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren and others to initiate similar initiatives! Thank you Scuderia.

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