Jessica Hawkins, Aston Martin, Hungaroring, 2023

Hawkins completes first Formula 1 test for Aston Martin in Hungary

Formula 1

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Jessica Hawkins completed her first test in a Formula 1 car at the Hungaroring last week, Aston Martin has announced.

The team’s F1 driver ambassador drove an AMR21, which was raced by the team when she joined them in 2021. Felipe Drugovich, their test and reserve driver, also turned laps at the home of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Hawkins said she “could hardly believe it” when she learned of her chance to drive the car which was raced by Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll.

“It’s taken me every bit of blood, sweat and tears to get here,” she said. “I’ve had to keep it secret for months now – which was pretty hard.

“It’s been absolutely worth it and it’s given me really valuable insight. Nothing will compare to the acceleration and braking of a F1 car and, having looked at the data, I’m really proud of my performance.”

Hawkins moved into single-seater racing after winning the British Karting Championship in 2008 and drove against Lando Norris in the 2015 British Formula 4 series. After a spell out of single-seaters she returned to compete in all three seasons of the short-lived all-female W Series.

She has also raced touring cars, appearing in both the British Touring Car Championship and TCR UK, winning a race at Oulton Park last year.

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Having her first run in a F1 car was “a dream come true for me and one I’ve been ready to fulfil for a long time,” said Hawkins. “I’ll keep pushing for more and, in the process, I want to inspire other women and let them know they should follow their dream no matter what it is.”

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack said the team were “really impressed by Jessica’s preparation for the test – she worked incredibly hard with our simulator team and that made it an easy decision to put her in the AMR21”.

“Jessica approached the opportunity with great maturity; she was up to speed quickly and found a nice rhythm. This has been a hugely significant moment in Jessica’s journey with AMF1 Team and I am pleased we could give her this next step in her development journey by testing a modern F1 car.”

Although competing in F1 is open to anyone with an FIA superlicence, no woman has attempted to qualify for a round of the world championship since Giovanna Amati over three decades ago. The last time a woman participated in a session at an official F1 event was at the British Grand Prix in 2015. The driver was Susie Wolff, who previously raced in the DTM, now runs the all-female racing series F1 Academy and is married to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

Pictures: Jessica Hawkins’ F1 test

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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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26 comments on “Hawkins completes first Formula 1 test for Aston Martin in Hungary”

  1. I assume there won’t be any times released. I think it’s time there’s a serious push to have a women’s championship in F1 cars instead of trying to push for the utopia where women will compete alongside the men. Even here, she’s obviously talented enough to win the British Karting championship, but then she “drove alongside” Norris, but not really. She was generally at the back and Norris at the front, they wouldn’t have been driving alongside each other a whole lot during that entire season.

    I’m sure there won’t be any times released here, but I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark and guess that it wasn’t the times Stroll was doing in Hungary. And again, that’s fine, because it’s okay to separate the two genders in this case and I think it’s time we start acknowledging that fact. It’s done in almost every other sport, so why not this one. We’ve seen now multiple examples of women competing in F3 and F2, and none of them have come close to anything but the midfield at best. Floersch only takes a handful of points in F3 (and that’s not even a rookie year). Calderon was at the back of the F2 grid. Chadwick’s Indy Light performance aren’t exactly top of the field either.

    All these women are great drivers, and I don’t doubt they’re just as committed with their training and prep work as the men they’re up against are, yet somehow they don’t make it past the midfield in anything but the lowest categories. That’s a problem and it’s not just that there’s fewer women in motorsports than men (that’s a problem, too, but solving that won’t solve no women making it to F1 proper I’d think).

    Now with Sprint’s once again coming under discussion with the very real possibility Max will win a WDC at Qatar’s Sprint race. Perhaps I might offer an alternative. Why not do a women’s F1 qualifying and race on Saturdays instead of having a 1/3rd F1 race? There can be WCC points on offer for the teams that count overall to them. And there can be a women’s WDC. It’d be more fun to watch. The women can finally get the funding and sponsorships, as well as the serious attention of the teams to field them. Would that not be a lot more fun than struggling to find positives in the one or two women that make it to F2 or F3 or into a “developmental” role at an F1 team?

    1. Why utopia? there are examples of women racing alongisde men and doing extremely well. It’s just plain statistics that the handful of women racing will have a hard time beating the thousands and thousands of male drivers that.

      I really don’t think motorsport is a discipline where both genders can’t compete, like in tennis, football, cycling or whatever. Motorsport is more skill than physical force, so the obvious genetic differences between women and men are nullified.

      As long as there are more and more women racing, starting with karts at an early age, there’s a much better chance of seeing a “woman Max” or a “woman Hamilton” in the future.

      1. Agree. Calling it a Utopia isn’t based on anything other than personal opinion.
        Glad you replied as you did. Saves me the trouble.

      2. Depends on what you envision the end goal to be. When I consider this, I think about a future where there’s several women competing in each of F1, F2, and F3 competitions at any time. Not just the occasional stand-out. And that’s where I’m stuck, because the examples are few and very far in between. So when I speak of a utopia, I’m not thinking of having one woman break through every few decades.

        I also don’t think the differences are nullified. I think they could possibly be less significant as in some other sports, but the question then still remains if the remainder is irrelevant. I’m not convinced they are, honestly. Now is part of that car design bias? Perhaps that’s the case, but I can’t say for certain.

        I still feel there’s nothing wrong with having a separate women’s championship in F1 cars. They’ve made one in junior material, but why not give it a bigger platform? I mean, one of the thing women are struggling with coming up in motorsport is finding money. If there was a clear path to worldwide TV exposure, having an official women’s competition in F1 machinery would be a good way to make funding more appealing.

        1. I don’t agree. Consider other form of motorsports, not just the formulas.

          But to be honest it’s difficult to know what the ideal solution could be. We’ll have to wait and see in years to come.

    2. @sjaakfoo Probably, the timing system wasn’t even active in the first place, which generally seems to be the case for private testing.

      1. There’s almost certainly someone with a stopwatch there. Not as accurate, but that’s irrelevant to just get a feel for the laptimes achieved. But even so, comparing those laptimes to the regular F1 drivers is, though tempting maybe, probably quite pointless.
        What times she achieved in relation to what prior experience she has, how well she’s prepared herself with the means and amount of time given, is likely all that matters.

        Or, maybe, should matter, as there’s no knowing how exactly Aston Martin value having ‘a girl in an F1 car’. On the positive side for that, they kept it secret, as opposed to ‘went straight to the media’ with it. That’s a +1 for me.

    3. How to be polite and condescending at the same time lol

    4. Why is it a problem that women are less interested in car racing?? It isn’t one. They do not have to be interested in the same things men are! Stop with that nonsense.
      Women are less interested in car racing than men = fine.
      Women have less talent for car driving than men = fine.

    5. The truth is the lack of women in F1/2/3 is exactly why none have been great. I forget who said it and about what sport in specific but the concept is that we have (more than likely) never seen the best player. Schumi/Ham/Verstappen/etc aren’t better than the best who ever lived because the best who ever lived never entered F1.

      We will never have the best woman in the grid because either her life was pre-F1, pre-women being able to compete, hasn’t been born, or-the most important-is doing something else with her life.

      Until women are seen as legitimate in the sport, you won’t be seeing the top 10 in F1. That’s just a statistical fact.

      Max himself surmised that his sister “may” have had more talent but she wasn’t interested. Imagine a woman even near his drive AND talent being in F1. We haven’t actually seen it because we haven’t let them believe it.

  2. What’s with Hungaroring that makes teams to choose that quite often for private testing with a 2021-spec car?
    Yes, they’ve also chosen the likes of Montmelo, Circuit Paul Ricard, or Italian circuits with AlphaTauri.
    Hungaroring is surprising, especially as that’s the farthest current European circuit for England-based teams.

    1. They offer best financial deal or technical support, or both? Why not…

      1. Nothing to do with those aspects, so I don’t know what you imply.

    2. A spacious event calendar? And thus, them being welcome almost anytime of year they like?
      Didn’t take the trouble to check, so just another possible answer.

      Good question to ask for the Racefans team, when they next interview one of the Aston Martin people.

      1. Within the next 5 minutes probably, with the mandatory “look, here I am with the person I’m interviewing!!!” photo

        1. Meaning?

          That would be nice, putting up a question and getting an answer that fast.
          Give these people some credit please. Of course they make mistakes, ofcourse they want to make a living.
          But we all come back here over and over again. They must be doing something right.

          1. Possibly referring to the formulaic and boring ‘paddock reports’ about who was seen walking around and how hard it was to find parking spots and what was had for lunch….

  3. Perhaps weather related. Also once you’ve chosen to test at that circuit once, it probably helps to keep testing at the same circuit in order to correlate the data.

    Back in the late nineties Williams used to travel to South Africa for pre-season testing.

    1. Southern European locations are better for weather than central European ones at this time of year, not that Hungaroring is bad either, alhough I don’t know if AM has done such testing there before.
      At least Mclaren & Alpine have.

        1. Why are you so determined to keep trying to harass that particular poster off this site?

  4. I would be interested to know what Doriane Pin could do in an F1 car. She is young and seemingly very talented

  5. Excuse my pedantry here but I need to make a small correction. I believe I am correct.

    Jessica won the ABkC O Plate in Honda Cadet in 2008, she didn’t win the MSA British Championship. The O Plate is a one off ‘Open’ meeting and it was in Honda Cadet.

    Comer was the premier category then which had sole British Championship status as well. Roy Johnson won both the ABkC O Plate in Comer and the official MSA British Championship for Cadets that year.

    It was a great achievement for Jessica to win still, don’t get me wrong, she didn’t win a MSA British Kart Championship.

  6. Why would anyone want to have women in F1 at all cost, what’s the point? F1 is the pinnacle of formula racing and it’s extremely hard to secure a seat in F1, for both men and women. The main rule is very simple and straightforward: either one qualifies or one doesn’t.

    But even more, if a woman is only just good enough for F1, she will still have a relatively good chance to succeed, since a woman in F1 is a marketing(wo)man’s wet dream these days. A man however who is just good enough for F1, most likely won’t get the drive since he is just one of many.

  7. What happened to my perfectly reasonable on topic posts? And Hazel’s. With no communication. The ethics of this site aren’t very good are they. Abusive posts reported but left, decent posts deleted. Of course I’m a real person not your cash cow psychotic who does most of your posts @keithcollantine helping you basically steal from advertisers with fake stats

  8. It’s Russell with a blonde wig.

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