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Formula E

Garcia exclusive: The woman continuing to breakdown countless barriers

RacingNews365 spoke exclusively to reigning F1 Academy champion Marta Garcia, who will make her Formula E debut in Berlin's rookie test.

Garcia Monaco
Interview
To news overview © ERT

Inspirational. Determined. Icon. Three words that beautifully summarise reigning F1 Academy champion Marta Garcia.

Single-handedly, Garcia is continuing to breakdown countless barriers for women in motorsport, in what, sadly, remains a male-dominated industry. She is an inspiration, and that was visible whilst interviewing the Iron Dames FRECA driver.

As a male journalist working in a male-dominated industry, it is impossible for myself to truly understand what Garcia's journey has been like, although, what is clear is that she has worked ridiculously hard for every opportunity.

Garcia is creating a pathway for not only young female drivers but she is giving young women in motorsport someone to look up to. Garcia is more than a role model, she is a hero.

The way the 23-year-old stormed to the first F1 Academy title in 2023 with Prema Racing was sensational and has led to a move to FRECA for this season with the incredible Iron Dames who are, of course, an all-female team.

Alongside her FRECA commitments, she will be working with ERT, who have offered her a seat in next month's Berlin rookie test.

Garcia will become just the second female driver to drive the Gen3 machinery, following in the footsteps of Gabriela Jílková. It marks a "proud" moment for the Spanish driver.

"Obviously, really, really happy, really proud," Garcia exclusively told RacingNews365. "I got the call from Prema and I was like, yeah, of course, let's do it.

"It's an opportunity for me to drive the car, to get the knowledge of how it works and the information to know something new for the future, you never know. So yeah, obviously, I'm super excited to do it in Berlin.

"We did the seat fit here [Monaco], meeting also the team, the engineers that I'm going to work with for the test. We didn't get the time to do the track walk which would have been nice here in Monaco.

"But really happy, obviously, with the opportunity and very grateful also with the team, with ERT, they are treating me really well."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Continuing to push herself

As mentioned, Garcia is taking the next step in her motorsport career this year with a move to FRECA. This is a much higher level of field compared to F1 Academy, something Garcia recognises but is excited for.

It will present her with an opportunity to further push herself and hopefully, discover whether she can further progress up the motorsport ladder.

"So basically, I'm going to race in the Formula Regional with Iron Dames, the season starts in two weeks, actually, we were just in Hockenheim literally yesterday," explained Garcia. "So yeah, obviously, also excited to start the season.

"We were racing in F1 Academy last year, the level was lower, obviously. Now we go into another step with racing.

"We did the testing as well, it's more complicated, we have to work a lot with data with the engineer, see where we can get the most out of where we need to improve, but really excited to start this season."

Winning the inaugural F1 Academy crown has opened several doors for Garcia, despite the fact it did not have the same visibility as it does this year. Last season, it was not an F1 support category, meaning it was challenging to find where it was being broadcast.

It is a different story this year, something Garcia believes will offer the drivers in the championship this season more opportunities in the future.

"Yeah, I think it's, you can see it's one of the opportunities you probably could get by winning, or by just being in the championship," said Garcia, when asked if being offered a Formula E test seat is proof of what is possible from winning F1 Academy. "I think, obviously, I won the championship, so I got some opportunities to do some stuff.

"Now, with the Formula E test, which is really good, then being part of the Iron Dames is another opportunity for my future. So obviously, I think the platform of F1 Academy is working well.

"For now, I think, even last year, there was not that much visibility until the last race, but this year there's more visibility since the first race in Jeddah.

"So, obviously, it's going to be more helpful than it was last year. So I think it's going to bring also more opportunities for the girls that are racing now in F1 Academy."

			© ERT
	© ERT

Inspiring a generation

When ERT announced that Garcia would be completing the Berlin rookie test for them, the reaction on social media in particular was phenomenal.

Within the space of just a few minutes, a significant number of young female motorsport fans voiced their delight at Garcia being offered a test seat.

Garcia is an inspiration to females in motorsport, both fans and young drivers, some of which she met in Monaco at the FIA Girls on Track event.

"Yeah, obviously, for me, I'm proud of this," the Iron Dames driver commented, when asked what being an inspiration is like. "Basically, when I started racing in karting, I didn't have a reference, let's say, because there was not many girls.

"After some years, we had Susie Wolff as well. But I think it's good that these girls have some references, as a woman in motorsport, that they can actually see that those girls are doing something like me being here.

"Like, whoever is doing whatever in other sports, I think it is really important, because you need that, because if they watch, for example, Formula 1, there's no woman. So I think the fact that there is a woman testing in Formula E is really good.

"Just in general, we're also doing the FIA Girls on Track. And it's great to see those 100 girls, they're being inspired by what you say, which I love.

"Because I know how hard it is to start work, to start in motorsport as to how it was 10-15 years ago. So I love to share my story and try to be as inspirational as I can."

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