Shattering Glass Ceilings: Jessica Hawkins Becomes First Woman to Test Drive F1 in Five Years
A Milestone in Women’s Racing
Jessica Hawkins, a British racer and Aston Martin ambassador, recently made history as the first woman in almost five years to test drive a modern Formula One (F1) car. Hawkins, a successful driver in the W Series, an all-female category, completed 26 laps at the Hungaroring in Budapest, using the Silverstone team’s 2021 model.
A Dream Come True
The Aston Martin ambassador expressed her gratitude to the AMF1 Team for this unique opportunity. According to Hawkins, it took significant effort, dedication, and even secrecy for months to reach this point in her career. The test drive provided her with invaluable experience and insight into the world of Formula One racing.
Women in Formula One: A Look Back
The last significant appearance of a female driver in F1 was in 2018 when Colombian racer, Tatiana Calderon, participated in several tests for Alfa Romeo. It has been 47 years since Lella Lombardi, an Italian driver, participated in an F1 race, and eight years since Susie Wolff competed in a Grand Prix practice session. Hawkins’ test drive marks a significant step forward for women in the sport.
Inspiring the Next Generation
Hawkins hopes that her achievement will inspire other women to pursue their dreams, regardless of the field. Her performance reflects her ambition, and she intends to continue pushing for further opportunities in the sport. This year, F1 grid bosses launched the F1 Academy, a women-only feeder series, indicating a move towards gender inclusivity in the sport.
The Future of Women in Formula One
The F1 Academy, created by the sport’s owners, aims to build a long-term route through the feeder series to bring a woman into F1. This initiative is hosting its debut season this year. However, the Academy’s managing director, Susie Wolff, has warned that it could take as long as a decade to bring a female driver into F1. Despite this, Hawkins’ test drive marks a significant step towards achieving this goal and breaking down gender barriers in the sport.
Aston Martin’s Commitment to Inclusivity
Team principal Mike Krack praised Hawkins’ hard work and preparation for the test. According to Krack, Hawkins approached the opportunity with great maturity, quickly got up to speed, and found a nice rhythm. This has been a hugely significant moment in Jessica’s journey with AMF1 Team, and they are pleased to have given her this next step in her development journey by testing a modern F1 car.
Jessica Hawkins’ test drive signifies a pivotal moment for women in Formula One. It is a testament to her tenacity and a beacon of hope for aspiring female racers worldwide. As the sport evolves, it is clear that there is room for talented drivers of all genders on the track. The future of Formula One is looking increasingly diverse, and Jessica Hawkins is leading the charge.
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