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F1 could have a female driver within “the next few years” as interest in the sport surges, according to Aston Martin driver ambassador Jessica Hawkins. Hawkins says more women are getting into motorsport at a younger age which has boosted the chances of one securing an F1 drive.
Speaking to Express Sport, she said: “Maybe not immediately but certainly I think in the next few years we may get to see a female in Formula One.” F1 has not had a female driver compete in an actual Grand Prix since Lella Lombardi competed in 1976.
Toto Wolff’s wife Susie drove in Friday practice at Silverstone in 2014 to become the first woman to take part in a Grand Prix weekend for 22 years. But, only six females have ever taken part in an F1 weekend with only two making race starts.
Wolff also set up Dare to be Different, a group pushing for more female participation in motorsport. Female motorsport series W Series has also helped improve exposure for female drivers.
Multiple champion Jamie Chadwick now looks the closest to take the leap after securing a Williams reserve driver contract. However, Hawkins warns the chance of women in motorsport’s top tier is still “far lower” than for men.
She added: “I would obviously love to be the person to make that happen but I say that the possibility is low. A big reason behind that is the females who have been driving in previous years, there are far less of us than men.
“The chances of a female making it to Formula 1 is far lower than what it would be a man making it into Formula 1 just because there are so few of us.
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“I definitely think that there are more women getting into it at a younger age so there will be a bigger pool of talent. We all know it’s not just about talent, you have to be talented and you have to have the right backing behind you.
“It’s getting the full package and I think the more females that start at a younger age, there’s going to be more of a picture to choose from going forwards.”
Hawkins herself has worked her way through the racing ladder starting in British Formula Ford. She has also competed in one-make series such as the Mini Challenge and Volkswagen Racing Cup.
The 27-year-old made her W Series debut in 2019 with her best result a fifth-place finish.
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