Formula 1 to Launch Entry-Level F1 Academy Category for Young Women

tatiana calderone formula 2
Formula 1 Launches F1 Academy Series for Women ANDREJ ISAKOVIC - Getty Images
  • The new championship, called F1 Academy, will debut in 2023.

  • The goal is to see female drivers on the F3 grid in the next two to three years.

  • Drivers will be expected to bring sponsorship, and the F1 Academy will be run by current F2 and F3 CEO Bruno Michel, feature 15 cars.

  • The teams which will be run by five F2 and F3 teams.

Formula 1 has confirmed the details of an entry-level motorsport category for women, which will launch in 2023.

The new championship, called F1 Academy, will debut in 2023 and will provide a platform for young women to compete in motorsport. The category is not replacing W Series, which is run separately from Formula 1, and which is aiming to return in 2023 after its 2022 season was curtailed due to financial setbacks.

jamie chadwick w series
Jamie Chadwick is a Williams F1 development driver after winning three W Series championships.Dan Mullan - Getty Images

F1 Academy is intended for "young talent currently in go-karting or other junior categories with access to the fundamental level of experience needed before racing in F3 and joining the pyramid to Formula 1."


The minimum age for drivers to compete in the F1 Academy series is 16. There is no upper limit, but the idea is for the series to cater to drivers 16-19 year olds who could be candidates for future rides in F3 or even F2 categories.

F1 Academy will be run by current F2 and F3 CEO Bruno Michel, feature 15 cars, which will be run by five F2 and F3 teams. There will be seven events of three races each, plus 15 days of testing.

Formula 1 is hoping to feature F1 Academy as a support category at one Grand Prix in 2023. The schedule will be confirmed at a later date.

F1 Academy teams will use a Tatuus T421 chassis—a Formula 4-level car—with a 165 hp turbo engine supplied by Autotecnica. Pirelli will be the official tire supplier.

Formula 1 will subsidize each car with a budget of €150,000 (approx. $178,ooo) for the season, making a total of €2.25m (approx. $2.67 million), while each driver will be required to bring the same amount. The teams will provide the rest of the budget.

“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,” said Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali. “That is why I am delighted to announce the F1 Academy that will give young female drivers the best chance to fulfill their ambitions through a comprehensive program 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.”

tatiana calderon f1
Former IndyCar racer Tatiana Calderon is currently in Formula 2.ANDREJ ISAKOVIC - Getty Images

Michel, who has fronted Formula 1’s feeder category Formula 2 previously GP2—since 2005, welcomed the 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,” said Michel. “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.”

Tatiana Calderon is currently the only female racer competing on Formula 1’s pyramid, in Formula 2, while Susie Wolff was the last woman to appear in an official Formula 1 practice session when she tested for Williams in 2015. Three-time W Series champion Jamie Chadwick is affiliated to Williams but has not yet tested Formula 1 machinery.

Giovanna Amati was the last woman to attempt to enter a Grand Prix—failing to qualify in Brazil in 1992—Lella Lombardi was the last woman to start a Grand Prix, in Austria, in 1976.