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F-1 teams must take custody of female drivers. Why is it a bad idea?

Date: May 26, 2024 Time: 04:58:37

Motorsport fans may have forgotten about the existence of the F1 Academy, but recently the women’s racing championship has been reminded of itself. At the end of July, it was announced that, starting next year, each Formula 1 team will be required to take custody of one F1 Academy driver. What is this innovation and why it was adopted – let’s try to figure it out.

What is the F1 Academy?

The first women’s racing championship appeared in 2019, but the W Series didn’t even last five years. “Formula for Girls” initially had a rather weak organization, and also could not boast of great interest from the audience. In many ways, it was these factors that led to the financial problems that erupted late last year: Series W ran up £7.5m in debt, so it couldn’t even finish the season – the Mexico stages. and the US were cancelled.

At the end of the same 2022, Formula 1 announced the creation of an alternative women’s championship called F1 Academy. The name itself already seems to insinuate that this racing series is positioning itself as a preparatory championship, after the success in which the pilots will have to promote.

The start of the F1 Academy career in the “Paul Ricard”

Photo: twitter.com/f1academy

That is, in theory (or ideally), the F1 Academy should train potential drivers for “real racing”. This theory is confirmed by financial assistance from Formula 1, which covers half of the expenses of the girls’ participation in the championship (150 thousand €), as well as participation in a number of eminent teams of the junior series: Prema, ART, Karlín, Campos and MP.

However, this was not enough for the management of the Royal Races, and from next year they will force the Formula 1 teams to participate in the fate of young racers: the racing stables will have to take care of a driver from the F1. Academy. The girls left without support from F-1 (15 drivers compete in the championship), in turn, will receive funding from the championship partners, which are unknown at the moment.

How the W Series died:

The feminine “formula” is on the verge of ruin. Attempt to promote female pilots was a failure

The guardianship of the girls of the F-1 teams will cost 300 thousand euros a year

Now let’s try to figure out what this whole idea means for the Royal Races. In fact, the championship bosses simply forced F-1 teams to include female drivers in their racing academies, as well as pay for their performance in the F1 Academy, an extremely controversial and controversial decision for a number of reasons to the time.

In the first place, the very fact that the F-1 management interferes in the activities of the teams, forcing the teams to accept drivers from the series in their junior programs, which many did not even consider as a platform where they could find potential “academics”. “, it’s alarming. And it would be nice if it was just about junior academy membership, but no: F-1 teams will be forced to spend €300 thousand on drivers that, in fact, they don’t need. Yes, the amount It’s not too big for the Royal Races, but money is money. Also, Helmut Marko announced not long ago his intention to water down the bulls’ youth program. Even if a giant like Red Bull monitors the cost of youth, then , what can we say about small teams?

Announcement of support for drivers by Formula 1 teams

Photo: twitter.com/F1

Also, let’s not forget that not all formula teams go out of their way to nurture young talent. Haas, for example, has no junior academy at all, Aston Martin’s program is based on Felip Drugovich and his sponsors, McLaren helps youngsters very rarely and selectively, and Sauber is about to come under control. Audi: They have absolutely no need to support young talent.

It’s also unclear what benefit female pilots will derive from all this story. Yes, F1 teams will pay for their performances, but what’s next? Still, the F1 Academy is positioned as a championship where drivers can prepare for the transition to more competitive series. And it is doubtful that the formula teams would sponsor the participation of girls in these same series. At the same time, you have to pay more: in F-3 and F-2 we are already talking about millions of euros.

By the way, it’s worth noting that as many as four F-1 teams can already boast having girls in their own youth academy. Williams’ program includes W Series dominator Jamie Chadwick (now playing in Indy NXT), and Ferrari has Maya Veg (FRECA). Sauber has already acquired an F1 Academy driver (Lena Buhler), and Alpin has generally included two girls in its program at once: Abby Pulling, who plays in the same women’s championship, and Formula 3 driver Sophia Flörsch. . And that’s not counting the “Mercedes”, which supports 13-year-old go-kart driver Luna Flusha.

It is very possible for girls to succeed in motorsports:

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Why does F-1 need all this? There are two main versions

As you can see, F-1 teams are still showing interest in the racers. Why, then, do the leaders of the “royal races” resort to such an aggressive policy? No one will say directly, but perhaps this is one of the ways to save the “female formula”. Let’s not forget that the F1 Academy is part of the structure of Formula 1.

F1 Academy started this year, but the project has already faced some problems. Let’s start with the fact that the leadership of the series simply did not organize the transmission of its offspring. What kind of spectator and, consequently, sponsorship, interest can we talk about if it is impossible to follow the championship races?

However, from next year broadcasts should appear, since F1 Academy will become a series of support for Formula 1. Perhaps it is precisely the desire to get closer to the “Royal Races” one of the reasons for the initiative shown by Domenicali. To some extent, this innovation can be called an attempt to give the “female formula” some attention from F-1. So, already in the F1 Academy, not only little-known racers will race, but also representatives of Formula 1 teams. If you like, this is an attempt to bring the battle of the best racing teams in the world to a new plane. : It is not for nothing that the drivers of the F1 Academy will definitely receive the decorations of the teams that support them.

F1 Academy race at Monza

Photo: twitter.com/f1academy

Another possible reason for the introduction of the new rule lies in the financial aspect of the problem. This year, Formula 1 paid half of the costs of the racers, and from next year the costs of the participants will be borne by the teams. Therefore, the Queen of Motorsport shifted the financial obligations to other structures and helped the runners in the search for the second half of the budget, albeit by proxy.

It is still difficult to say if the new F-1 initiative will bear any fruit. However, some points of this reform are immediately alarming. There is a feeling that this idea will not end with anything good for the series, neither for the drivers, nor for the teams. Most likely, the racing stables simply sponsor the girls’ performances at the F1 Academy and in the future will in no way participate in their fate.

Perhaps a much more effective model for the development of women’s motorsport would be the establishment of a prize fund. In total, the F-1 teams will spend 3 million euros a year on the girls’ racing championship. Wouldn’t it be more useful to give this money to the championship winner, who could continue a career in Formula 3 conditionally? Thus, each year at least one runner would receive a ticket to the junior competitive series. Let’s hope that one day F-1 will come to something like that.

The best runners in history:

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* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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