F1 Announces New Academy to Develop Young Female Drivers Starting in 2023

Adam WellsNovember 18, 2022

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 30: Race winner Alice Powell of Great Britain and Click2Drive Bristol Street Motors Racing (C), Second placed Jamie Chadwick of Great Britain and Jenner Racing (L) and Third placed Beitske Visser of Netherlands and Sirin Racing (R) celebrate on the podium during the W Series Round 5 race at Hungaroring on July 30, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Formula One is increasing its efforts to develop and promote female drivers in the sport.

The promotion announced Friday it will launch F1 Academy, an all-female driver series, in 2023 with 15 drivers split up into five teams and competing in seven events.

Formula 1 @F1

Introducing F1 Academy<br><br>A new all-female driver category which aims to develop and prepare young female drivers<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/F1Academy?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#F1Academy</a> <a href="https://t.co/45xUjprcjt">pic.twitter.com/45xUjprcjt</a>

Bruno Michel, CEO of Formula Motorsport Limited, is managing the new venture. The seven events will consist of three races each for a total of 21 races during the 2023 calendar.

According to F1's official announcement, the decision to start F1 Academy came after "assessing the barriers young female drivers face with entering the F1 pyramid," making it more difficult for them to gain the same level of experience as their male counterparts.

"I am very excited to launch this new category," Michel said in a statement. "Diversity is extremely important in motorsport, and with the F1 Academy we will prove that female drivers have what it takes to compete at high levels. I am absolutely convinced that if young women are given the same amount of experience as any other driver, they can successfully make their way through the pyramid."

F1 Academy will afford female drivers more time on the track for racing and testing, while also being able to work with professional teams that can help them develop the skills necessary to compete at the highest level of the sport.

The W Academy will continue to operate, along with F1 Academy. The W Series announced last month it had canceled its final three races of the 2022 season because of financial difficulties.

The W Series had its inaugural season in 2019 and began running under the F1 umbrella in 2021. The all-female series features 18 drivers. Jamie Chadwick has won the championship in each of its first three seasons.

Five female drivers have competed in an official F1 series race. Giovanna Amati was the last woman to compete in the senior circuit during the 1992 season.