Girls and Ferrari: it’s Race Time
How equal opportunities are reaching into a strictly male business like Formula One car racing.
Once upon a time, girls and with racing cars had only one role: that of pinups. That era is finished, finally. A turning point for the world of car racing is coming. On 22 January 2021, the Ferrari racing team has selected the first girl in the Ferrari Driver Academy history.
The next driver of the Ferrari Formula 1 racing team could be a woman.
The week before, the selections took place on the Ferrari racetrack in Fiorano, Italy, to pick the winner among four finalists. The finalist girls were all between 14 and 16 years old. They were the Brazilian Julia Ayoub (15 years old) and Antonella Bassani (14), the French Doriane Pin (16), and the Dutch Maya Weug (16). They had been previously chosen among 20 candidates, selected by national committees from girls coming from 145 countries.
The four finalists tested their skills in aptitude tests, on the simulator, and on the track with a Formula 4 car, like every other candidate to become part of the program.
In the end, Maya Weug has been the chosen one. She will be part of the “Girls On Track — Rising Stars” course, the initiative wanted by the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, in collaboration with the Ferrari Driver Academy.
Maya is a 16-year-old girl, half Belgian and half Dutch, raised in Spain. She started racing at the age of 7, when her father put her on a kart from which she never got off, obtaining important awards in the most important international competitions.
Now Maya will have the opportunity to participate in one of the Formula 4 championships supported by Ferrari.
The choice of the winner was not at all easy since all four girls showed excellent performance: for this reason, Ferrari decided to offer the other three finalists a test with a 488 Challenge EVO, a 700+ HP car racing in the Ferrari Challenge single-maker championship.
A bright and hopefully successful path opens up for women also in this field. Finally, equal opportunities are reaching into a strictly male business like Formula One car racing too.