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Susie Wolff appointed to crucial new F1 role

The former Williams test driver and Venturi Formula E boss has been given the reins of F1's newest junior championship.

Susie Wolff has been appointed as Managing Director of the F1 Academy series that is aiming to develop young female drivers. Wolff, who founded the Dare to be Different initiative served as the Venturi Formula E Team Principal between 2018 and 2022, stepping down at the end of Season 8. The former Williams F1 tester - who was the last woman to take part in a Grand Prix weekend at the 2015 British Grand Prix - will report to F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and F2/F3 supremo Bruno Michel in her new role as MD of the F1 Academy.

F1 Academy offers "genuine change"

The F1 Academy will feature a seven race season at venues such as the Red Bull Ring, Monza and Zandvoort before supporting Formula 1 on the United States Grand Prix weekend in October for the season finale. It is not a direct replacement for W Series, which was forced to curtail its 2022 season owing to budget concerns after Singapore. Speaking about her appointment, Wolff believed the Academy offered the chance to "promote genuine change." "The F1 Academy presents an opportunity to promote genuine change in our industry by cresting the best possible structure to find and nature female talent on the journey to the elite levels of motorsport, both on and off the racetrack," Wolff explained. "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 realise that with talent, passion and determination, there is no limit to what they can achieve. "This is also the start of an important new chapter in my career, combining the experience I have developed so far with my passion for diversity and empowerment. "So I would like to thank Stefano for entrusting me with a role that means as much to me personally as it does professionally." Domenicali added that Wolff "is an incredible person who understands what it takes to reach the highest levels of motorsport, both as a driver and Team Principal. "She has a wealth of experience and first hand knowledge that will be of huge benefit to all of us and the drivers who are on their journey to progress through the racing pyramid." The Italian also said that the Academy is "an important part" of F1's increasing push for diversity, inclusivity and equality. "We are committed to maximising the opportunities in our sport for anyone to reach their true potential and achieve their dreams," he said. "We believe F1 Academy is a very important part of our plans to be a more diverse and inclusive sport."

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