F1 Academy will start in 2023 with a 15-car grid comprising of five teams run by existing F2 and F3 teams. 21 races will take place across seven rounds during the series’ inaugural season, with the calendar set to be confirmed in due course. 

F1 aims to help develop young female talent currently in go-karting or junior categories in an important first step before progressing further up the motorsport ladder and entering championships such as W Series, F3 and F2, with the ultimate goal of reaching F1.

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To ease the burden of the financial difficulties faced by many up-and-coming drivers, F1 will subsidise a total of €2.25m for the 15 cars, with the drivers required to cover the €150,000 funding. The teams will provide the remainder of the budget. 

The F1 Academy intends to provide an extra route into motorsport for young female drivers, alongside the W Series, which was forced to cancel its 2022 season three rounds early amid financial troubles. 

F1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali said: “Everyone should have the opportunity to follow their dreams and achieve their potential and Formula 1 wants to ensure we are doing everything we can to create greater diversity and routes into this incredible sport. 

“That is why I am delighted to announce the F1 Academy that will give young female drivers the best chance to fulfil their ambitions through a comprehensive programme that supports their racing careers and gives them everything they need to move into F3 and hopefully to F2 and then the pinnacle of Formula 1. 

“The more opportunity there is the better and this is designed to provide another route for the drivers to succeed.”

Bruno Michel, general manager of F1 Academy, wants to see a female driver on the F3 grid in the next three years. 

“I am very excited to launch this new category," said Michel. "Diversity is extremely important in motorsport, and with the F1 Academy we will prove that female drivers have what it takes to compete at high levels.

"I am absolutely convinced that if young women are given the same amount of experience as any other driver, they can successfully make their way through the pyramid. Our goal is to see female drivers on the F3 grid in the next two to three years, and for them to quickly challenge for points and podiums.

"The aim is to increase the field in the near future, because we hope that this category will inspire more young girls to compete in motorsport at the highest of levels.”