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How the 2024 F1 Academy season could be revolutionary for women in Motorsport

Written by Jasmin Low, Edited by Debargha Banerjee

Ahead of the 2024 F1 Academy season, some exciting new rule changes have come into action, all of which have the potential to revolutionise the world of women in motorsports, and see more young female drivers move forward along the path toward the pinnacle of motorsport. So, that being said, let’s take a look at some of the significant changes that will be heading our way in the forthcoming season.

All F1 teams must sponsor a driver

It was announced after F1 Academy’s inaugural season that each of the 10 Formula 1 teams must sponsor at least one driver, with the driver running a livery in the colours of the team.

This means that at least two-thirds of the fifteen-car grid will be backed up by one of the teams operating at the highest level of single-seater racing.

The remaining drivers will be supported by other partners of the series. For example, iconic makeup brand Charlotte Tilbury will be supporting Rodin Motorsport driver Lola Lovinfosse, where she will run a livery inspired by the brand.

This means that for much of the grid, their names will be added to the roster of their respective teams’ young driver development program. In turn, it will help them develop their skills both on and off the track, have their talent noticed by the teams in other Feeder Series categories, and receive financial support which will allow them to continue their career. 

Wild Card Entries

The addition of Wild Card entries at select races throughout the season provides a unique opportunity for more young women to have an opportunity to race for a weekend in a fourth car with reigning constructors’ champions, Prema Racing.

This initiative allows talented young women from the regions in which the races are held to gain support and training, as well as valuable experience. Wild Card entrants are also eligible to score points in the Drivers’ standings.

This creation of extra opportunities opens the door for young women in the sport to have a spotlight shone on their talent, giving them the potential to race in the series full-time in the coming years. 

Drivers can only compete for 2 seasons

A new introduction to the series’ sporting regulations now means that a driver may only compete in F1 Academy for two seasons.

This means for drivers in their sophomore year of F1 Academy, including the likes of Bianca Bustamente and the Al Qubaisi sisters, they will be competing in their final season of the all-female category. This rule aims to allow women to move through the karting and single seater ranks, allowing for a larger female talent pool racing in single-seaters.

The top 5 drivers will earn super licence points

A Super Licence is compulsory for drivers to have obtained if they are going to race in Formula 1, and in 2024, F1 academy will award the top five drivers in the championship with these crucial points, allowing women to make a leap toward a potential drive in F1.

40 points are required in order to obtain an FIA Super Licence. The champion will receive ten points, whilst the others in the top five will receive seven, five, three, and one point respectively.

The introduction of super licence points in the category, combined with the opportunity to move along the path to F1 through series such as FRECA, which hopefully will allow more women to achieve the Super Licence and be able to race in Formula 1. 

All F1 Academy races will be broadcasted

In 2023, F1 Academy came under some scrutiny for not broadcasting the races live. The argument was that it hindered the category’s ability to help the drivers get their names out there, as their talent couldn’t be watched live and was less likely to be noticed by the public.

In 2024, all of the races will be broadcast for the world to see, helping the category gain more support, meaning it can better help young female drivers progress through the ranks. 

Overall, the changes coming to the 2024 F1 Academy grid could change the course of history for Women in motorsports, allowing young female talent to be nurtured and supported by a host of sponsors, have more eyes drawn to them, and earn valuable Super Licence points on their path towards Formula 1.


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