F1 Academy to race exclusively at Grand Prix weekends in 2024

Just one of seven races to feature on main race support bill during 2023.
  • F1 Academy to support US GP in 2023
  • Susie Wolff leading the series as MD

The all-female F1 Academy is set to race exclusively at Formula One Grand Prix weekends in 2024.

The new series gets underway in Spielberg, Austria, on 28th and 29th April, but only the season finale in Austin will be on the support bill of a Formula One race.

“I can confirm that next year the F1 Academy will be on the racing weekend of F1, of course not everywhere, but that will be part of the plan to promote the F1 Academy,” Domenicali told Sky Sports F1.

“That's really something that we are really keen to make sure will be hopefully the right booster for the season to grow.

“F1 took the leadership on this project to try to do something, investing, believing that by bringing attention to the project, we can really hopefully as soon as we can, have a girl, a woman in F1. That's what I hope and that's why we're investing a lot.”

This announcement follows the appointment of Susie Wolff as managing director of the series, where she will report directly to Domenicali. 

Formula One is set to subsidise each entry with a budget of €150,000 (US$155,718), making a total investment of €2.25 million (US$2.34 million). However, each driver will have to match this subsidy, meaning the series will not provide free entry like W Series. The teams will cover the rest of the costs.

The plan is for the series to run in conjuction with its predecessor the W Series, although there is currently no news on whether this series will return following financial difficulties at the end of last season.

BlackBook says…

While this is a positive development for the visibility of the series, it appears to be a departure from the initial goals of the series to give female drivers more on-track experience.

Avoiding Formula One race weekends this year means F1 Academy does not have to compete with the global motorsport series for track time. But, joining Grand Prix weekends will mean further competition for track time, with Formula Two and Formula Three often on the support bill, especially at European races where the majority of F1 Academy's 2023 season is based.

Long term, sacrificing driver development to increase eyeballs on the series, something that the W Series failed to capitalise on, could prove to be a short-sighted move.

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