Scuderia Ferrari has partnered with the FIA to launch a new Girls on Track ‘Rising Stars’ programme which will end up in female racers joining the team’s academy.
After earlier reports of Ferrari eyeing a female driver in their academy, the announcement has been made by the FIA with the new programme ‘Rising Stars’ under the Girls on Track banner, which is looked after by the Women in Motorsport Commission.
The programme aims to find the best female racers between 12-16 years, who could eventually race as a Ferrari junior in time to come. The partnership will work on a four-year cycle, where they aim to have two drivers racing in F4 under the academy banner.
The programme kicked-off earlier in the year, where FIA’s 145 national sporting authorities nominated promising drivers from their respective countries. A total of 24 drivers were shortlisted from five continents and they will be invited for a shoot-out in October.
The event will take place at Circuit Paul Ricard, hosted by Winfield Racing School. From the shoot-out, 12 drivers will be selected and they will undergo two different karting and F4 focused training programme in October and Novemner.
Eventually, four drivers will be selected for a one-week course at Maranello – home of Ferrari Driver Academy. The winner will get a contract which can be extended, where she will race in F4 in 2021. The same process will take place in 2021 to find a racer for 2022.
“FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars is another immense step forward at the grassroots level of the sport and, with manufacturer partners, we have a really concrete opportunity to find, develop and support young women drivers,” said Michele Mouton, President of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission.
“To be able to collaborate with Ferrari, our first partner of the programme, is fantastic and real recognition of the progress we continue to make after 10 years of our Commission’s work. It is an incredibly exciting multi-year agreement, which we hope will result in two winning drivers becoming Ferrari’s first-ever female racers. That is a very special thought and would be an historic moment for our Women in Motorsport Commission.”
At the same time, Mattia Binotto added: “We are really pleased to be collaborating with the FIA in this innovative Girls on Track – Rising Stars programme. We are firm believers in the value of helping youngsters develop in motor sport. 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 motor sport. 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 once again see a woman competing in a F1 World Championship race for the first time since 1976.”
Additionally, Pirelli will also support the programme, as Maria Isola stated: “For Pirelli it’s a pleasure to support this initiative that is totally aligned with our tradition. In fact, Pirelli has been sustaining young drivers’ programmes for many years and has been involved with the FIA in several campaigns focused on sustainability and safety. FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars brings together all of the best of these points and has got many characteristics to write an important page on motor sport history.”
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