F1 Academy to star in docuseries by Reese Witherspoon’s production company

Sam Cooper
F1 Academy logo.

F1 Academy logo.

F1 Academy looks to be getting its own Drive to Survive style series after a new deal with Reese Witherspoon’s production company was announced.

Shortly before the series’ second round in Valencia, Formula 1 announced that it had agreed a partnership with production company Hello Sunshine for a docuseries about the all-female F1 Academy series.

Hello Sunshine was founded by Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon in 2016 with a particular focus on female-led stories.

The series will follow all 15 drivers across the five F1 Academy teams and offer behind the scenes access.

F1 says the series will “highlight the drama of the races, as well as the personal stories of these incredible drivers and the teams around them, as they break barriers in one of the most demanding sports in the world.”

It is not new ground for F1 to be venturing into with the hugely popular Netflix series Drive to Survive serving to expose the sport to a huge new audience since its maiden season in 2019.

Speaking following the announcement, F1 Academy’s managing director Susie Wolff said she hoped the series would “empower the next generation of young women to break down barriers in motorsport and beyond.”

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“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,” the former Formula E team principal said.

“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.”

F1 Academy faced criticism after its opening race in Austria last weekend was not shown live anywhere. PlanetF1.com understands the focus was primarily on getting the race on and that there are plans for live broadcast in the future but currently no set date.

Sarah Harden, CEO of Hello Sunshine, said: “Formula 1 has established itself as not only a global powerhouse, but also a forward-thinking competition that is committed to creating equal opportunities for women. As the remarkable women of the ground-breaking F1 Academy prepare to make history, we’re honoured to have the opportunity to document the many captivating narratives both on and off the track.”

Sara Rea, head of unscripted at Hello Sunshine, said: “The opportunity to partner with F1 Academy is a privilege that we could not be more excited about. These drivers are dynamic, inspiring, and competitive, and Susie Wolff, their leader, is a force of nature in the best possible way. With high stakes, adrenaline, and heart, F1 Academy is a rich landscape for compelling and powerful female stories.”