A new all-female series has been announced for 2023 by Formula 1 which aims to prepare young female drivers to progress to higher levels of competition.
Known as the 'F1 Academy', the series will consist of five teams run by current F2 and F3 teams, each entering three cars to make up a 15-car grid.
There will be seven events consisting of three races each, totalling 21 races along with 15 days of official testing.
While it will not form a permanent part of the F1 support race package, it is expected to include one Grand Prix weekend next year.
The announcement follows the collapse of the W Series 2022 season, which had to end early after the round in Singapore due to lack of funding.
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, said: "Everyone should have the opportunity to follow their dreams and achieve their potential and Formula 1 wants to ensure we are doing everything we can to create greater diversity and routes into this incredible sport.
"That is why I am delighted to announce the F1 Academy that will give young female drivers the best chance to fulfil their ambitions through a comprehensive programme that supports their racing careers and gives them everything they need to move into F3 and hopefully to F2 and then the pinnacle of Formula 1.
"The more opportunity there is the better and this is designed to provide another route for the drivers to succeed."
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The car used for the series will be a Tatuus T421 chassis that will have a 165bhp engine supplied by Autotecnica.
Pirelli will provide the tyres and the series will be managed by CEO of Formula Motorsport Limited – which owns F3 and F2 – Bruno Michel.
Michel, General Manager of the F1 Academy, said: "I am very excited to launch this new category. Diversity is extremely important in motorsport, and with the F1 Academy we will prove that female drivers have what it takes to compete at high levels.
"I am absolutely convinced that if young women are given the same amount of experience as any other driver, they can successfully make their way through the pyramid.
"Our goal is to see female drivers on the F3 grid in the next two to three years, and for them to quickly challenge for points and podiums.
"The aim is to increase the field in the near future, because we hope that this category will inspire more young girls to compete in motorsport at the highest of levels."
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