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Woman Spotlight Wednesday: Sophia Floersch

Written by Sophie Harvey, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Credit: Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited

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 motor 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 article takes a deep dive into the story of a female racer, currently racing in the lower echelons of the Feeder Series ladder, for new entrants PHM Racing in Formula 3.

Germany is eminently known for producing Formula 1 drivers - Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg being the biggest names produced by the country. It’s unsurprising that none of the country’s 54 entries have been female, and it’s a trait Sophia Floersch hopes to change. The determined 22 year-old has been vocal that she means business, and is already leaving her mark on track.

Growing Up in Motorsport

Floersch was born in 2002, in Bavaria, spending most of her early years around Munich. Her competitive karting career began in 2008, having karted recreationally for three years prior.

Floersch began to appear frequently in the history books, becoming the first female, and the youngest karter in the 2009 SAKC Championship, 2009 ADAC German Championship, and the 2010 European Championship, all whilst being scouted by none other than Red Bull Racing. Not many ten year-olds could say that.

Credit: Sophia Floersch

It was only natural to see Floersch’s swap from driving karts to cars in her teenage years. She made her debut in the British Ginetta Junior Championship in 2015. Thruxton proved to be a fruitful round, the German youngster rewriting history twice-over, becoming the youngest driver to win a Ginetta Junior race, and the first rookie to ever win two races in a single weekend.

Unfortunately, financial difficulties cut short her season mid-way. At her withdrawal, Floersch led the rookie championship, and ranked third in the overall standings, an impressive performance nonetheless.

Moving Up The Ladder

In 2016, Floersch progressed to the ADAC F4 Championship. She completed two seasons with varying levels of success, but two podiums and two fastest laps were evidence of her presence in the series, to battle with some big names.

Credit: ADAC Motorsports

Following a disappointing season in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, her partnership with Van Amersfoort Racing continued on to the Macau Grand Prix. However, the yearly spectacle turned into a nightmare with Floersch experiencing a horrific crash. Her car catapulted over the barrier at 171 mph (275 kph), hospitalising four people, and leaving Floersch with life-threatening fractures to her spine.

Miraculously, the 17 year-old made a full recovery, and after rehabilitation, went on to compete in the Formula Regional European Championship, only a matter of months later. She finished a respectable seventh. Floersch’s remarkable recovery saw her return to Macau, collecting the Laureus World Sports Award for Comeback of the Year.

FIA Formula 3

In 2020, Floersch announced that she had signed with Campos Racing for the FIA Formula 3 season - a hugely significant moment in her career. Only 18 months after nearly losing her life, Floersch would become the first woman to race in Formula 3, since the championship’s formation.

It’s undeniable that Floersch had a tough season, her races often hindered with mechanical problems. She achieved a personal best race result of 12th amongst a field of 30, classifying 29th out of 35 drivers in the overall standings.

Credit: Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport

After having ventured into the world of Endurance Racing, Floersch returned to partner with PHM Racing by Charouz for their 2023 campaign. She also joined Alpine Racing’s Rac(H)er programme, an initiative launched to provide greater opportunities to female drivers and karters by the French outfit.

So far, Floersch has six points to her name. These come after an impressive recovery at Spa-Francorchamps, where she drove to seventh at the chequered flag, having started 24th on the grid. This makes her the first woman to score points in the series, a tally she hopes to add on to in the future.

Credit: Rudy Carezzevoli - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited

As Sophia Floersch rewrites history once more, she proves to be a force to be reckoned with. Whether she reaches Formula 1 or not, we wish her the best of luck in her journey, as she continues to be an inspirational figure to girls all around the world.


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