Sixteen year old Dutch driver Maya Weug made history this week as she was named the first female driver at the Ferrari Academy, following her successful campaign in the Girls on Track initiative established last summer by the FIA.
Weug beat out three other finalists to land this role, passing a series of tests to prove her potential and earn her a spot in the F4 Championship this year.
“I will never forget this day!” Weug said “I am so happy to be the first female driver to join the Ferrari Driver Academy. Winning the final stage of the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars programme makes me realise I was right to pursue my dream of becoming a racing driver.”
Although Weug’s placement in the FDA by no means guarantees her a position in Formula One, there is no question that this is a remarkable step forward
Maya follows in the footsteps of some of Formula One’s current top drivers who all had their beginnings in the FDA, including Sergio Perez, Charles Leclerc, Antonio Giovinazzi, Lance Stroll, and rookie Mick Schumacher who makes his Formula One debut this year.
Team Principal, Mattia Binotto, highlighted Maya’s signing as “a clear indication of the Scuderia’s commitment to making motorsport increasingly inclusive, in line with the hashtag supported by the entire Formula 1 community, #weraceasone.”
Such news is both exciting and extremely necessary. The last woman to race in Formula One was Lella Lombardi in 1976, who finished her Formula One career with half a point and 17 race starts. Although Weug’s placement in the FDA by no means guarantees her a position in Formula One, there is no question that this is a remarkable step forward for Weug, Ferrari, and the entire motorsport community.
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