F1 Academy has announced the launch of a new global initiative aimed at increasing the female talent pool in motorsport both on and off the track.
The F1 Academy Discover Your Drive initiative will provide girls and young women with opportunities to participate in entry-level programmes and professional schemes, further promoting and enhancing female participation in sport.
There will be a focus on the four pillars of Youth Engagement, Talent Identification, Participation & Progression, and Community.
As part of this, the first talent identification programme to launch will be the F1 Academy Discover Your Drive Karting UK. This national programme in the United Kingdom – to be operated by Motorsport UK – will aim to find and nurture the next generation of young female karters.
With statistics showing that a very small percentage of the 45,000 young girls who visit TeamSport venues each year progress to competition level, the programme will look to remove barriers that often inhibit girls from competing and make them aware of the opportunities available.
Additionally, with F1 Academy set to act as a support event to Formula 1 in 2024, F1 Academy Discover Your Drive will hold events around the world in the days before these races to engage and inspire local girls aged 8-18.
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Wolff: Reach of F1 Academy Discover Your Drive will be huge
Susie Wolff, Managing Director of F1 Academy, is keen to see the long-term impact of the initiative.
"When we launched F1 Academy in March, one of our key objectives was to increase the pipeline of talent entering our sport, both strengthening the pool of drivers aiming to make it to an elite level and supporting those who want to pursue roles off track," she explained.
"The launch of F1 Academy Discover Your Drive is an important step to achieving this and as we join the F1 global calendar next year, the reach of the programme will be huge and will give us the platform to inspire many girls and young women around the world.
"To have the support of likeminded organisations like Motorsport UK and TeamSport Karting to deliver our first national programme is hugely important, and I look forward to seeing it grow and be impactful long term."