F3 tests aim to put young female drivers on path to F1


A two-day F3 test for female drivers is aiming to allow potential prospects to sample faster single-seaters


FIA Formula 3 is aiming to bridge the gap between the lower levels of competition and single-seater racing in order to help promote more females into the FIA motor sport ladder.

Four drivers including the first winner of the FIA Girls on Track talent search Maya Weug will get to test F3 machinery at Magny-Cours in November the series has announced.

Fellow F4 Iron Dames driver Doriane Pin will also get the opportunity, while W Series Academy talents Irina Sidorkova and Nerea Marti are set to be part of the test too in the first step towards a bridge between the all-female series and the FIA category.

Sidorkova and Marti are two of the youngest drivers in the series at 18 and 19 years old respectively and were selected on the basis that “W Academy drivers are in the best age-range to eventually join the single-seater pyramid.”

FIA Formula 3 CEO Bruno Michel said that the tests would not be a one-off and would in fact be the beginning of an initiative designed to galvanise female participation at the lower levels of single-seater racing.

The tests are set to be the first of a possible series that will see promising young drivers get the chance to test F3 machinery as part of their learning experiences at the lower levels.

The hope is that by granting young girls the opportunity to test the faster single-seater machinery, it will help develop car set-up and interpersonal skills of the drivers with race engineers and mechanics.

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“Diversity is a very important subject for us. Our wish is to ensure that more and more female drivers join our championship,” Michel said.

“We hope that this test is the first step towards making the road to Formula 1 for a female driver more systematic. One way to achieve this is to create connections between our categories, which are the closest to F1, and racing programmes that promote female drivers, with the ultimate goal to prepare them for the pinnacle of motorsport.

“With this test, we want Nerea and Irina to familiarise themselves with F3, the car, and how we work. It will not be about performance, but about understanding the demands of the category. It will be a first taste of what to expect, as we hope they will progress to our championship in the near future.

“After discussions with W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir, we agreed that there should be a bridge between their series and the single-seater pyramid. We also agreed that the W Academy drivers are in the best age-range to eventually join the single-seater pyramid, so we selected them for this test session.

“This is a very exciting opportunity, and we are already thinking about the next steps so that this test is not just a one off.”

Weug and Pin are both part of the Iron Dames division of the Iron Lynx team, led by Deborah Mayer, that has run an all-female Le Mans team.

The former was the first winner of the FIA Girls on Track young drivers programme last year and currently competes in Italian and ADAC F4 as part of the Ferrari Driver Academy. Pin is a GT3 endurance racer, competing in the Michelin Le Mans Cup and has secured four podium finishes this season.

“This experience will be important in demonstrating to Maya and Doriane what is involved in the next level of racing, and I’d like to thank FIA F3 for offering this amazing opportunity for both drivers,” Iron Lynx project leader Mayer said.

“These will be the fastest cars they have ever driven until now, and it will help prepare them for climbing to the next stages of their careers.”

The tests are set to take place across two days next month at Magny Cours. The W Series Academy drivers will get to drive on November 9 while the Iron Lynx drivers will sample the F3 car on November 10.