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Woman Spotlight Wednesday: Maya Weug

Written by Jenny Clynes, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Women have played an influential role throughout the history of motor racing. Many have taken to the wheels of motorsport machines, while numerous figures have worked tirelessly on the sidelines in various roles, shaping the racing world to the present day. Woman Spotlight Wednesday aims to take a look at the tales of these superwomen, who have surpassed various hurdles to reach where they are today. 

Today’s inspirational female figure in motorsport is the 19-year old history maker: Maya Weug, the first-ever female to join the prestigious Ferrari Driver Academy. 

Weug fell in love with the sport at the young age of seven, and she quickly began to take karting very seriously. In 2015, she finished second in the Alevin Class in the Spanish Karting Championship, and officially began her international karting career only a year later. 

This early karting career was immensely impressive, with Weug winning the WSK final cup in the 60 Mini Category, and being selected for the Richard Mille Young Talent Academy in 2019. She competed across various karting series’, including the CIK-FIA Karting European Championship and the Karting World Championship.

Credit - Maya Weug on X

Weug’s racing career took new heights in 2020 when she was nominated to compete in the “Girls on Track — Rising Stars'' programme organised by the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, to encourage more young girls into the world of motorsport, and single-seater racing.

This event involved the selection of 20 female drivers aged between 12 and 16, to compete against one another, with the winning prize being a place in the renowned Ferrari Driver Academy. 

This reward was highly prestigious, due to the opportunities the position proposed, but it was also revolutionary, as the winning girl would be the first ever female to join the academy. Weug impressed everyone when she won the shootout, and made history by joining the academy. Officials credited her amazing performance, hard work, and ability to take on criticism as key reasons for her winning. 

Credit - Maya Weug on X

In 2021, Weug competed in the Italian Formula 4 championship for Iron Lynx Motorsport Lab, as part of the Iron Dames programme. The Ferrari junior scored an impressive three rookie podiums in Le Castellet, Misano, and Vallelunga. 

She stayed on with Iron Dames into 2022, and had a much better season compared to her rookie season. Weug finished 14th overall, with the sophomore driver scoring points in a total of nine races. The highlights of Weug’s second season were the impressive sixth place finishes at Imola and Misano. 

After the 2022 season, Maya took part in a number of post-season tests with KIC Motorsport, and began racing for the team in 2023, in the Formula Regional European Championship. This was an immense season for Weug, with a rollercoaster of highs and lows, including a number of hard qualifying sessions, intense weather conditions and a scary accident at Zandvoort. 

Credit - Maya Weug on X

However, she was able to take these lows in her stride, and ended up 17th overall, and third in the rookie standings. She scored a total of 27 points, with six points finishes. Her first top 15 came at Imola, and by the mid-season, Weug was a consistent name in the top ten, securing an impressive seventh and sixth finish in Spa. Excitingly, Weug managed to score points at Mugello, one of the most physically demanding tracks in the championship. 

At the season finale in Hockenheim, Weug completed a highly challenging race, after being spun in the opening stages of the race. However, she put this behind, and managed to fight through the entire race, finishing her season on a high. 

She was the only KIC Motorsport driver to score points, and as Weug reflected on her season, she stated that her highlight of the season was her rookie win at Spa. Overall, the season was an enormous learning curve for the Ferrari junior, and has only improved her abilities and made her an even stronger driver. 

Overall, Maya Weug is a driver of immense ability, something she has shown time and time again. She has a strong fighting spirit, and her constant ability to learn and to improve is what makes Weug such a talented force, and has set her on the path to a tremendous career. 


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