Formula 1 has confirmed the full list of drivers who will line-up on the grid for the first season of F1 Academy action.
This all-new category has been formed to provide the platform for young female racers to get a footing on the junior ladder towards Formula 1, with former Williams development driver and past Venturi Formula E CEO Susie Wolff appointed as managing director of the new series.
Five teams have signed up, the first of those being ART Grand Prix, who were co-founded by Ferrari principal Fred Vasseur, plus Campos Racing, MP Motorsport, Prema Racing and Rodin Carlin, all very familiar and proven names on the junior racing scene.
The calendar and race weekend format was already in place, so the last piece of the puzzle was to confirm the drivers who would form the first F1 Academy grid for 2023.
And with confirmation having now arrived, the grid is complete.
So, let’s take a look at the drivers that form the F1 Academy 2023 grid…
ART Grand Prix – Lena Buhler, Carrie Schreiner and Chloe Grant
Swiss racer Buhler is one of only two drivers on the grid with current F1 team affiliation, having signed with the Sauber Academy. She was also the first F1 Academy 2023 driver to be confirmed and boasts previous Formula 4 and Formula Regional experience, with a best finish of P5.
German driver Schreiner meanwhile is returning to the single-seater scene with multi-title-winning experience in sportscar racing, while British rookie Grant will be looking to upset the odds as the rookie of the team.
Campos – Nerea Marti, Lola Lovinfosse and Maite Caceres
Just the one Spanish driver in the team from that nation, but Marti will have her eyes on the title after honing her craft in the W Series over the past few seasons, the 21-year-old making three visits to the podium and claiming pole in Miami in 2022.
She will face strong intra-team competition though, since 17-year-old Lovinfosse boasts two seasons of Formula 4 experience, while Caceres will look to make her mark in European racing.
MP Motorsport – Hamda Al Qubaisi , Amna Al Qubaisi and Emely de Heus
Sisters unite at MP Motorsport as Hamda and Amna Al Qubaisi look to bring the (hopefully friendly) competition out there on the track.
Hamda became the first female racer in history to score an Italian F4 podium back in 2021, having also won multiple races in the F4 UAE Championship, the nation which she hails from.
Her older sister Amna meanwhile has been making history with multiple firsts for an Emirati woman in motor sport, and also boasts plenty of F4 experience, while she also took part in a nine-woman Formula E test back in 2018.
They will be tested though up against Dutch racer De Heus, who has already enjoyed spells with MP Motorsport in F4.
Prema – Marta Garcia, Bianca Bustamante and Chloe Chong
Garcia will hope to contend for the 2023 F1 Academy title as a former W Series race winner, who is also no stranger to the F4 scene, though she will face intra-team competition from another W Series alumni in Bustamante, the 18-year-old Filipino racer.
They have something of an unknown quantity for a team-mate though, Chong making the step up from karting having previously made the finals of the FIA’s Girls on Track Rising Stars programme. At 16, she is the youngest driver on the grid.
Rodin Carlin – Abbi Pulling, Jessica Edgar and Megan Gilkes
If Garcia does mount a title challenge, then she is likely to face stern competition from Pulling of the Alpine Academy, the Brit having made the W Series podium three times after similar success in British F4 prior to that.
She is joined by fellow Brit Edgar, cousin of former Red Bull junior Jonny Edgar and a driver who made the podium in her first season of GB4 Championship action last season.
Canadian racer Gilkes is a multi-time racer winner in the GB4 Championship.