F1 will help women move through the ranks.
Formula 1 has announced that Susie Wolff will be the managing director of the newly-created F1 Academy. This new all-female series was established late last year to develop young female drivers so they can progress to the top-tier formulas, including the W Series, F2, and F3. And for all the chauvinists out there, the eventual goal is Formula 1.
The series comprises five teams, 15 drivers, and 21 races at Formula 1 tracks. According to Formula 1, Wolff was brought in to "enhance the managerial structure and offer her unique insight."
Before you accuse F1 of being woke, know that Wolff is a more accomplished driver than most of us will ever be, having previously been contracted as a test driver for Williams F1 and a racer in DTM, Formula 3, and Formula Renault. She's adept off the track, too and was one of the first drivers to test the Mercedes-AMG One.
Like many F1 drivers, Wolff started competing in karting before moving to Formula Renault. She also raced in DTM for Mercedes-Benz and completed a practice session in a Williams F1 car at the Silverstone Grand Prix in 2014. She's one of less than a handful of women ever to get the opportunity to drive in the pinnacle of motorsport. After retiring from motorsport, she served as the team principal for the Venturi Formula E team.
"This presents an opportunity to promote genuine change in our industry by creating the best possible structure to find and nurture female talent on their journey to the elite levels of motorsport, both on and off the racetrack," Wolff wrote in an Instagram post. "There is a lot of work to be done, but there is also a clear determination to get this right. In doing so, I believe the F1 Academy can represent something beyond racing. It can inspire women around the world to follow their dreams and realize that with talent, passion, and determination, there is no limit to what they can achieve."
"It is fantastic news that Susie Wolff is joining the F1 Academy as Managing Director. Susie is an incredible person who understands what it takes to reach the highest levels of motorsport, both as a driver and Team Principal," said F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali. "We are committed to maximizing the opportunities in our sport for anyone to reach their true potential and achieve their dreams, and we believe F1 Academy is a very important part of our plans to be a more diverse and inclusive sport."
The first round of the F1 Academy kicks off on 28 April at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Most of the races do not coincide with the F1 season, but the F1 Academy finals will take place as a warm-up act for the United States Grand Prix at COTA in October.
For a little bit of fun, we include a video of Wolff scaring the crap out of her husband around Suzuka below. And before you accuse Toto of not having experience, he too is an ex-racer who only retired after injury.
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