What To Expect: F1 Academy

Pascal Richier: Unsplash F1 Academy

F1 Academy is a new all-female race series debuting in 2023. Launched by Formula 1, the series begins with ambitions to improve opportunities for young female drivers to advance further into the sport. While this series is not equal to Formula 1, it plans to prepare the drivers to advance into other racing series like W Series, Formula 3, Formula 2, and Formula 1. In March, Susie Wolff was announced as the new Managing Director of F1 Academy. Here is what to expect from F1 Academy.

There are five teams on the grid that are run by Formula 2 and Formula 3 teams. Rather than two drivers on each team, there will be three drivers on each team to create a 15-car grid. There will be 21 races across the season but with only seven rounds. These rounds are set to feature 7 classic race circuits across Europe and the final in America. Because there are only seven rounds, there will be two qualifying sessions and three races every round. F1 Academy will be racing in Spielberg, Valencia, Barcelona, Zandvoort, Monza, Le Castellet, and Austin.

Drivers will all race the same car across the grid. This format is similar to Formula 2 and will showcase the individual talents of each driver. According to Top Gear, the cars are Formula 4-spec Tatuus T421s, with 165bhp Autotecnica engines and Pirelli tyres. Each car is subsidised by Formula 1 with a budget of €150,000. Each driver will have to match that amount while the team will cover the rest of the budget. Testing ran in Barcelona in early April with Marta Garcia racing for Prema topping the charts. The first race of the season will kick off in Spielberg this weekend at the Red Bull Ring.

Races 1 and 3 are 30 minutes long, with Race 2 being 20 minutes long. The first qualifying session will decide the grid for Race 1 while the second qualifying session will set the order for Race 3. The qualifying order features a reverse-grid order proposed by Formula 1. The qualifying order from the first qualifying session shows: the first 8 finishes will start in reverse order, and the rest remain in the position they qualified in. The point allocation is similar to Formula 1 with one point also being awarded to the driver who sets the fastest lap time. The points are the same for Races 1 and 3 but slightly different for Race 2. Race 2 interestingly doesn’t award points for positions lower than 8th place.

The five teams and 15 drivers competing in F1 academy are:

Campos Racing

Nerea Marti – #1

Lola Lovinfosse – #2

Maite Caceres – #3

MP Motorsport

Hamda Al Qubaisi – #4

Emely de Heus – #5

Amna Al Qubaisi – #6

ART Grand Prix

Lena Buhler – #7

Carrie Schreiner – #8

Chloe Grant – #9

Rodin Carlin

Abbi Pulling – #10

Jessica Edgar – #11

Megan Gilkes – #12

PREMA Racing

Chloe Chong – #14

Marta Garcia – #15

Bianca Bustamante – #16

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