Women's Sports: F1 side Ferrari announces plans to include female drivers in their Driver Academy

F1 Grand Prix of USA - Final Practice

Ferrari has announced it plans to include female drivers in its Formula 1 junior programme.

The announcement comes as the Formula 1 team have committed to expanding their Driver Academy and “invest in the future”.

Suzie Wolff was the last woman to have participated in the Formula 1 competition. Wolff took part in four practice sessions across the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Giovanna Amati was the last woman to attempt to take part in a Grand Prix race but failed to qualify for Brabham in 1992’s season.

Meanwhile, in the inaugural W-Series motor racing competition this year, Britain’s Jamie Chadwick became the first woman to win the all-female series. Chadwick was previously affiliated with Williams’ Driver Academy.

Mattia Binotto, Ferrari’s team boss explained his team were looking to develop their youth programme following the success of their academy drivers.

"A few other drivers will join," he said. "It's something on which we are working very hard. So, we are pleased to know that.

"The Driver Academy is an important investment for us. [Ferrari F1 driver] Charles is the best example. We need to look at the future generation of talent for Ferrari.

"The Academy also looks for women in the future.

"Women should be part of the Ferrari Driver Academy. That's something on which we are working right now to make sure that it may happen very soon."

The announcement comes after six-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton released a video last week saying he wanted to see more diversity in the competition. Hamilton was the first black F1 driver when he first started in the sport in 2007.

"I want the sport to be more accessible. I was at the FIA gala and I came across an Asian family, and I was like, 'Hey, I thought I was gonna be the only brown person here!' Because that's how it normally is.

"I'm in a world where that's been common for my entire life. So to see people of colour in the audience, whether it's black, Asian, whatever it may be, it's just great to see diversity slowly creeping in.

"It is a world that's open to everyone and I hope at some stage there's a young powerful woman that comes through and blows the field away.

"Wouldn't that be something special?"

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