Four young girls in contention to join last year’s winner Maya Weug in the Ferrari Driver Academy
The final stage of the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars programme gets underway today in Maranello. It’s the second year of the initiative run by the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, in collaboration with the FDA (Ferrari Driver Academy) and Deborah Mayer’s Iron Dames project. The aim is to promote women in motorsport, supporting the most talented young girls between the ages of 12 and 16 on their way to a professional career in racing. Over the next five days, four talented youngsters will tackle a very demanding programme, put together by the experts at the FDA. The candidates will be aiming to convince the Maranello engineers that they deserve to join Maya Weug and become the second ever female driver to don Ferrari colours at the Maranello Academy.
The selection. To get to this stage, the four girls have gone through several selection processes, including physical tests as well as driving karts and then Formula 4 cars with the Winfield school at Le Castellet. They were chosen by members of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, headed up by former rally star Michéle Mouton, the Paul Ricard instructors and FDA experts, with Maya Weug herself an interested observer.
The finalists. The candidates aiming to join the Academy are, from Russia, 14 year old Victoria Blokhina, from Spain, 15 year old Clarissa Dervic and 16 year old Laura Camps Torras and another 16 year old from Brazil, Julia Ayoub. Julia was actually one of the finalists last year. On the Friday and Saturday, the 2020 winner, Maya Weug, who is a Spanish national, with a Belgian mother and a Dutch father, will be on track at Fiorano to set a reference lap time for the four candidates. They will be driving a Tatuus Formula 4 car fitted with the same Pirelli tyres as used in the Italian championship.
Programme. As usual at the FDA evaluation camps, the girls will be fully immersed in the world of Ferrari, its values and history. At Maranello they will tackle theory lessons, physical and aptitude tests as well as learning about communications. Before their two days on track at Fiorano, they will also have some sessions on the simulator.
The decision. The programme at Ferrari ends on Saturday afternoon, after which the girls will leave Maranello. Over the following few days, the experts will analyse in detail all the data from the track and off-track activities before choosing one candidate deemed worthy of joining the Ferrari Driver Academy.
President of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission
We have seen potential from developing young racers throughout the second edition of FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars, and it is so important we can help them take another step in a professional and structured environment.
The four drivers showed determination, character and progression and I know they will all embrace this exceptional opportunity at the Ferrari Driver Academy.
Scuderia Ferrari Racing Director
We are pleased to be hosting the second edition of the “FIA Girls on Track-Rising Stars” programme at Maranello and Fiorano. It involves us working alongside the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) and Iron Dames to search for the most talented young women drivers and offer them the opportunity to progress in the very competitive world of motorsport.
In 2021, for the very first time, a young girl, Maya Weug raced for a season in FDA colours and the example she set will be important for the four participants who will be with us this week. Working with young drivers is a priority for Scuderia Ferrari, not just to find talented youngsters and help them develop to one day maybe race with the Prancing Horse, but also because we want to make motorsport more accessible, regardless of a person’s gender or resources. And this programme, along with the FDA World Scouting Programme is one of the pillars of our strategy.
Therefore, I wish Victoria, Clarissa, Laura and Julia the best of luck. Take on these days at Ferrari with grit and determination and of course, with a smile. Above all enjoy the experience.