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The Return of the F1 Academy

Last year, the F1 Academy had its inaugural season and saw many changes introduced to the world of motorsports. The F1 Academy is the all-female Formula 4 racing series. There are a total of 15 drivers with three drivers each belonging to one of the five teams. After their inaugural season, many Formula 1 teams have drivers as part of their development program and are sponsoring them in this upcoming F1 Academy season.

One of the first F1 Academy drivers to have been signed with a Formula 1 team was ART Grand Prix driver and Philippine native Bianca Bustamante. Bustamante was signed to be a part of the junior development program for the McLaren Formula 1 team. During the season, she achieved her first race win and finished 7th in the overall standings.

Courtesy of Eric Alonso

After the signing, the support from other Formula 1 teams only grew after that. All 10 Formula 1 teams have a driver that they will be sponsoring this upcoming season. The support of these teams will not only allow the drivers to grow themselves but also bring more attention to the sport. 

One of the new faces to join the grid is 17-year-old American Lia Block. Block will be racing for ART Grand Prix alongside Bustamante with the help of the Williams F1 team. It will be Block’s first season as an open-wheel driver since her experience ranges from Extreme E to rallycross.

Red Bull also participated in the action by recruiting Hamda Al Qubaisi, Amna Al Qubaisi and Emely De Heus as part of the Red Bull Academy. Amna will be competing in the grid under the sponsorship of the newly named Visa Cash App RB team. According to Sarah Harrington, Red Bull Academy Manager, she believes that having this new addition is essential for the progress of women in motorsport.

Courtesy of F1

Other drivers that will be on the grid with an F1 team supporting them are Tina Hausmann with Aston Martin, Abbi Pulling with Alpine, Carrie Schreiner with the Sauber Academy, Dorianne Pin with Mercedes AMG-Petronas, Chloe Chambers with HAAS and Maya Weug with Ferrari.

Courtesy of Jared C. Tilton

The creation of the F1 Academy has not only allowed for progress in the motorsport industry by including women, but it has also allowed for women to receive the credit that they deserve. F1 Academy has and will continue to open new doors for young girls and women who want to pursue a career in racing. It might not be perfect, but it is still a step forward.

The F1 Academy will have its first round of their second season on the weekend of Mar. 8 through Mar.10. The season will have seven races across the world from the Jeddah Corniche Circuit to the Yas Marina Circuit. The season will end on Dec.10.

Edited by: Kendall Merriett

Social Media Content Created by: Callista Carreiro

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