Formula 3 to host second test for four female racers at Magny-Cours

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The FIA Formula 3 Championship is organising another private test for female drivers, at the Magny-Cours circuit in France.

Four new names have been invited and each will get a full day in the Dallara F3 2019 car. Two drivers will take to the track on September 16 and the other two the following day.

Hamda Al Qubaisi races in Formula Regional’s Asian and European championships while Tereza Babickova, Chloe Chambers and Alpine Academy affiliate Abbi Pulling [pictured] all compete in W Series.

Pulling has taken a pole and three podiums in W Series, as well as seven podiums in British Formula 4 before that. Al Qubaisi is a six-times race winner in F4 United Arab Emirates. Chambers competed in United States F4 last year, and Babickova has graduated to Formula Regional straight from karts.

“It’s very important to us to ensure that more and more female drivers join our championship,” said FIA F3’s CEO Bruno Michel. “Diversity is one of our key discussions regarding the future of motorsport.

“We initiated these dedicated F3 tests last year, with Nerea Marti, Doriane Pin, Irina Sidorkova and Maya Weug, who all said how beneficial this one-day test had been to their understanding of the demands of our championship. We selected four new drivers for this year, as we follow closely not only the W Series, but also female drivers in other categories.

“The purpose of this test is not to compare their performance, but it is an opportunity for them to understand what is required from an F3 driver from every aspect, so that they can prepare for the challenges when they progress to our championship, hopefully in the near future.”

Al Qubaisi said she “aspires to drive in this championship next season if all goes well”. Babickova, who made her debut in car racing this year, said: “I’m still a rookie formula driver, so for me, this invitation to the FIA F3 test is a recognition of my training and racing commitment so far, and it’s a great motivation for the future”.

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Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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14 comments on “Formula 3 to host second test for four female racers at Magny-Cours”

  1. Encouraging to see all the efforts being made to encourage more women into all aspects of motorsports. You definitely notice more women in the garages in F1 these days. One day, when they are on a level playing field, these efforts will no longer be necessary. But until that day comes, I applaud what’s being done.

    The idea that a woman can’t physically compete with a man in a racing car is utter rubbish. Some of the male racers around the world are tiny. It’s all about determination.

    1. @shimks
      I don’t agree with you that before motorsport was systematically closed to women and now is open thanks to mentality change. You have to consider that “before” motorsport wasn’t a c-suite environment. Now thanks to the empire built by Ecclestone that enabled more revenue to be distributed among the teams and the improved law labours in the EU where all the teams are based, the environment as a whole has improved a lot from what it has been.

      I remember coming across an interesting article from a decade ago about the life of F1 mechanics which was a shock for me. The article interviewed former RBR and Benetton chief mechanic Kenny Handkammer, the front jackman when Jos Verstappen’s car went on fire. I always thought that F1 crews were privileged people that travels the world in business class and the lucky ones working for winning teams partying all the time after race victories.

      The mechanics were underpaid, worked extra hours travelled in economy class and didn’t see much of the countries they were visiting apart from airports and racetracks. Ferrari mechanics in the unlimited testing era used to run simultaneous car testing sessions in Fiorano, Mugello and Imola at night which was crazy. Not to mentions the difficulties in the 60s, 70s and the 80s where the sport wasn’t regulated.

      Bernie used to travel with the entire Brabham team in economy class to save money in the early years when he brought the team. Giorgio Piola explained that due to the difficulties covering F1 in the late 60s, 70s and 80s, all the paddock guys were like family and have special relationships. Even in those times women were not present in F1 at all. They were a minority working in communication, photograph (the late Gabriela Noris), I remember growing up watching the Ferrari dream team in which there were also women figures like Stefania Bocchi…

      Furthermore, the evolution of computer aided design systems, simulations, AI, cloud computing, devops, algorithms, composites, materials… which become an essential part of the sport opened up a whole new possibilities for women to work in F1.

      F1 environment was harsh to say the least and wasn’t suited even for ordinary men. The type of people that want to have great work life balance. Anyone women or men that have worked in that environment were driven by sheer passion to overcome the environment’ difficulties.

      I’m not dismissing women abilities to do difficult physically demanding jobs. Far from it, but even today with all the laws and initiative in place to get women work freely in all domains without any prejudice, there are still laborious, dusty, difficult jobs that are still dominated at 99% by men. You just have to view the jobs by gender in for example the US department of labours website : mainly construction workers, crane operators…

      You don’t see feminists campaigning to equalize those percentages…They only care about positions of power. I hope I will not be misunderstood for my post, I’m for all people to get a fair chance regardless of their sex, origin, race, social backgrounds.

      1. A good read, @tifoso1989, thank you. But I don’t agree with you that “…feminists…only care about positions of power”.

        1. @shimks,
          Sorry but I was really not referring to you as a feminist. My bad ! What I meant is that I’m against those left wing feminists that are systematically demonizing men and summarizing all the issues that women encounters as men made. Sometimes you have women themselves or men also refraining from certain occupations, passions for reasons unrelated to sexism or discrimination and that sometimes are related to culture, tastes…

          As I said I’m with inclusion for everyone women included but I was just making a point that the lack of women representation in F1 wasn’t related mainly to discrimination or men domination and there are other factors involved.

          1. @tifoso1989, I never mentioned discrimination. I never said it was a man-made problem. I never said the sport was systematically closed to women. I only welcomed the efforts to get more women involved in motorsports. It seems there’s a lot going on in your head that’s spilled onto this page but it certainly wasn’t my doing. You’re even assuming I am a woman, I guess, even if not a feminist.

            Your other comments were interesting but I really think we should leave alone this particualar topic now.

  2. I’m not sure the cause is helped by putting middling-at-best talent into cars they’ll never be competitive in.

    1. Works for F1 though.

      1. No, it doesn’t “work for F1” unless you wrongly assert that drivers who are mid-to-back of the pack in lower junior series are of the same quality as mid-to-back of the pack F1 drivers.

        Here’s news: they’re not and it’s not even close.

    2. Well, I don’t know if you noticed @proesterchen, but there’s a lot of middling-at-best talents in F2 and F3 anyways.

  3. Ahh isn’t female privilege great…

    1. Is it? We make been getting those privileges for a long time. Imagine if since back in the days women were the one in power and men were in the position of the women, not allowed to work, vote, or do sports and finally now they open it up for men, would you still think the same?

      1. should have read we have been

  4. Not make should read we have been

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