Formula 1 Academy has announced its inaugural champion Marta Garcia will receive a fully-funded seat in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine (FRECA) in 2024.
Garcia wrapped up the title over the United States Grand Prix weekend as F1 Academy announced its F1-supporting calendar for next year, with the all-female series gaining big interest as part of the race program. To ensure progression for talents, Garcia will have her seat funded through a combination of F1 Academy itself, PREMA — who ran her in F1 Academy — chassis manufacturer Tatuus and tire supplier Pirelli.
The series has committed to trying to promote its winner further up the motorsport ladder each year, and FRECA has updated its regulations to allow teams a season-long fourth entry if they sign a top-three finisher from the F1 Academy championship.
“I’m so thrilled and excited to be racing in FRECA next year,” Garcia said. “Coming from F1 Academy, it’s going to be a big step. We know we will have to work a lot with the team to succeed but I’m really determined to do well.
“I can’t thank F1 Academy enough. It is such a fantastic initiative, and it is the right way to do it, trying to take drivers with the best results to the top level. What an amazing opportunity, I’m looking forward to it and to the work that we have ahead, inside and outside the track.”
PREMA team principal Rene Rosin says the move into FRECA with Garcia is based on her talent and the potential his team has seen in her over the past year.
“We are really happy to continue working with Marta for 2024,” Rosin said. “We were really impressed by her approach and professionalism, and the progress she made throughout the year showed that she is ready to take the next chapter of her career. This step is also a great testament to the work done by F1 Academy in the development and promotion of young woman talent in motorsport.
“The Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine is a challenging and competitive championship, but we think that Marta will be up to pace, and we will support her to get there as quickly as possible.”
F1 Academy will also reduce the driver contribution needed for a 2024 race seat from a little over $150,000 to slightly more than $100,000 (€150,000 to €100,000) to try and encourage participation in single-seater racing.
“F1 Academy is all about progression and creating more opportunities for young women across motorsport, so to offer a fully funded seat in FRECA for our inaugural champion is a significant moment,” F1 Academy managing director Susie Wolff said. “The fact that she will also continue to race with PREMA, whom she has built a relationship with and are current team champions in this category, will also aid in her future development.
“I am proud of the progress we have made in our first season, and as we begin to build for our 2024 season where we will join the F1 calendar, this announcement, alongside the decision to further subsidize the 2024 F1 Academy driver contribution to €100,000, is a statement of our continued commitment to make motorsport more accessible and break down the barriers faced by female drivers.”