The all-female F1 Academy junior series has signed a partnership to produce a docuseries with US-based production company Hello Sunshine.
- Docuseries will focus on both the drama of the racing and the personal stories of the drivers
- Actor and Hello Sunshine founder Reese Witherspoon will executive produce the series
- Hello Sunshine's head of unscripted Sara Rea and Isabelle Stewart, head of original content at Formula One, will also be involved as executive producers
Context: This news comes at a time of consternation, with fans perplexed at the lack of coverage currently planned for the series designed to give women a platform in motorsport. James Bradshaw, Formula One's head of digital technology, told the BlackBook Motorsport Forum last week that the delivery of the live races is “quite challenging” and currently there are no plans in place for live streaming.
Comment: Susie Wolff, managing director of F1 Academy, said: “F1 Academy is going to drive change in the motorsport industry as we create the best possible structure to find and nurture female talent both on and off the racetrack. We want to inspire women around the world to follow their dreams, and by partnering with Hello Sunshine, who are leaders in telling inspirational female stories, we will reach a global audience and empower the next generation of young women to break down barriers in motorsport and beyond.”
Consequence: It's a step in the right direction for the series, with a Drive to Survive-inspired documentary providing a great opportunity for the stories of these young drivers to be told. In the short term, however, there remains a lack of clarity on just how the series will be broadcast.
F1 Academy is set to join the Formula One support grid from next season, which will likely see it broadcast alongside Formula Two and Formula Three on set weekends. But, while this will increase visibility of the series, it will greatly reduce the available track time to the drivers, something that was originally the main goal of the project.
Dedicated testing days outside of the calendar will be a necessity from 2024 if F1 Academy is to strike the best balance and show it is serious about promoting women in motorsport.