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F1 Academy: Susie Wolff hoping to increase number of females in motorsport

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increasing female representation in motorsport

Susie Wolff is determined to make a significant impact by increasing the representation of females in the world of motorsport. She believes that such efforts are crucial, as the absence of young women entering the sport is a cause for concern. As the head of Formula 1’s new Academy series for young women, Wolff is launching a campaign aimed at providing girls between the ages of eight and twelve with their first step towards a career in motorsport.

Having previously raced in the German touring car championship and worked as a test driver for the Williams F1 team, Wolff acknowledges the growing interest in F1 among women in recent years. However, she recognizes that the perception of motorsport as a male-dominated field remains a hindrance for aspiring drivers and those seeking off-track roles.

Wolff emphasizes the importance of capitalizing on the fastest-growing fan demographic, which comprises young females. She believes it is crucial to ensure that the next generation understands that motorsport is a viable option for them. To illustrate the prevailing misconceptions, she shares a story about a little boy at her son’s school who expressed admiration for F1 and asked for an autograph. The girl standing nearby was surprised to learn that Susie used to race, exclaiming, “What? You were a racing driver? But girls are not allowed to race.”

What does the new initiative entail?

The F1 Academy Discover Your Drive initiative aims to identify promising talent at a young age and provide a smooth pathway into competitive karting. Karting has long been the starting point for most F1 drivers. This program, run in collaboration with the British governing body Motorsport UK, will be introduced this year at six indoor karting venues operated by TeamSport UK across the country, namely in Leicester, Manchester, Eastleigh, Newcastle, Mitcham, and Reading.

Scouts will be present at each karting track, carefully observing and nurturing drivers who demonstrate potential. Those showing promise will be offered a place in a racing academy, receiving support throughout their journey towards competing in the British indoor karting championship.

The program’s expansion is planned for 2024, encompassing all of TeamSport UK’s venues. Simultaneously, events will be organized worldwide at all grand prix races where the Academy serves as a support series.

Wolff emphasizes that the most talented individuals will receive comprehensive support as they progress through the ranks of karting. Rather than leaving them to fend for themselves after achieving victories, the Academy aims to assist these girls throughout their journey. However, performance and talent will ultimately determine the level of support provided.

Broadening the talent pool

Having shared a Formula Renault podium with Lewis Hamilton during her junior career, Wolff firmly believes that women can compete at the highest level of motorsport alongside men.

She points out that motorsport is not segregated, leading to the question of why a particular area should be treated differently. In fact, the transition from karting to single-seaters poses a significant financial burden, making it arduous for young drivers to progress. Wolff herself faced challenges when transitioning to single-seaters.

By alleviating the financial burdens associated with this transition and providing exposure on the F1 platform, along with nurturing talent through the five best junior teams, the Academy aims to accelerate the progress of aspiring female drivers.

Hugh Chambers, the CEO of Motorsport UK, highlights how other sports such as football and rugby have invested heavily in developing junior female talent at the entry level, yielding impressive results with athletes competing and achieving significant accomplishments on the international stage. Chambers expresses hope that motorsport can also be seen as accessible and enjoyable for young girls, supporting them on their journey, whether it be in motorsport competition or pursuing professional careers in various disciplines.


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RacerGirl87 June 9, 2023 - 1:38 am

This is soooo cool! Susie Wolff is doin’ an amazin’ thing by tryin’ to get more girls into motorsport. It’s like, super necessary ’cause we need more ladies in the sport before we run outta ’em. Go Susie!

SpeedDemon June 9, 2023 - 1:38 am

I’m stoked about the F1 Academy Discover Your Drive! Givin’ young girls a chance to show their talent in karting is gonna be a game-changer. I can’t wait to see more women kickin’ butt in motorsport!

RaceFan123 June 9, 2023 - 1:38 am

Wow, this initiative is gonna widen the talent pool in motorsport. Susie Wolff is right, why are we segregatin’ one area when women can compete against men? By supportin’ girls from karting to single-seaters, they’ll have a real shot at makin’ it big. Keep breakin’ those barriers, ladies!

EngineerWannabe June 9, 2023 - 1:38 am

As a young girl who dreams of becomin’ an engineer in motorsport, it’s encouragin’ to see Susie Wolff takin’ action to break down the barriers. I hope more girls like me can find their way into the sport and follow their passion. Let’s show ’em what we’re made of!

FastandFearless June 9, 2023 - 1:38 am

The F1 Academy is gonna be a game-changer for young girls who wanna pursue motorsport. It’s about time we see more diversity in the sport. I’m rootin’ for all the talented girls out there. Go for it, girls!


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