Ferrari to help end Formula 1's long wait for next female driver
Ferrari and the FIA have collaborated to create the 'Girls on Track - Rising Stars' programme in a bid to promote equality in motorsport and help end Formula 1's long wait for a female driver.
The programme will focus on identifying the best female drivers between the ages of 12-16 from around the world, and will offer help and guidance on how to create a 'professional career' in motorsport.
Support will be offered from the FIA Innovation fund to enable the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission to make a success of the programme, which aims to place two drivers into the Ferrari Driver Academy within four years, two of these potentially being awarded seats in an FIA Formula 4 series.
“We are really pleased to be collaborating with the FIA in this innovative Girls on Track - Rising Stars programme," said Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto. "We are firm believers in the value of helping youngsters develop in motorsport.
"The FDA has been operating for over a decade now, not just purely and simply selecting the best drivers, but also working on their cultural, technical and ethical education.
"With this in mind, we felt we had to make a further effort to expand our area of operation to include female youngsters who want to get on in motorsport.
Although Davina Galica, Desiré Wilson and Giovanna Amati have all entered grands prix weekends, Lella Lombardi remains the most recent female driver to start an F1 race, with the last of her 12 starts in the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix.
Lombardi also remains the only female driver to register a points finish - scoring half a point for sixth place in the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix.
Binotto added: "Although there is no actual barrier to their participation, we are aware that it is harder for women to progress in this field.
"That’s why we have responded enthusiastically to the FIA initiative, and we believe that we can help introduce even more young women to this fantastic sport.
"Who knows, maybe one day we will again see a woman competing in a Formula 1 world championship race for the first time since 1976.”
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