2023 recapped -

What happened in F1 academy 2023 season -

2023 recapped -
(L-R)F1 academy drivers Nerea Martí, Marta García, and Bianca Bustamante posing on the podium with Susie Wolff, MD F1 Academy (Picture Credit: GETTY IMAGES)

The inaugural season of F1 academy saw seven race event weekends with three races each, totalling to 21 races. Each race weekend consisted of 2, 40 minute practice sessions followed by 2 Qualifying sessions of 15minutes each. Qualifying 1 set the grid for Race 1 and Qualifying 2 for Race 3. For Race 2, Reverse grid (Top 8 from Qualifying 1 reversed) was used. Each qualifying pole position driver received 2 points. 1 point was awarded for fastest lap in each race and top 10 driver finishes got 25-1 points as per standard. Race 1 and 3 were set at 30 minutes+1 lap while race 2 was 20 minutes+1 Lap. The season also included 15 extra days of testing to allow drivers to have more track time and practice.

Round 1 of the season happened at 4.3Km Red Bull Ring in Austria. Marta García of Prema Racing won Race 1 and Race 3 of the weekend. She also took two pole positions and one fastest lap. MP Motorsports Amna Al Qubaisi emerged as the winner of Race 2 along with taking the fastest lap. Bianca Bustamante, Jessica Edgar, Léna Bühler, Lola Lovinfosse and Hamda Al Qubaisi featured on the podium.

4.0Km Circuit Ricardo Toromo in Spain hosted the second round of the inaugural season of F1 academy. Hamda Al Qubaisi, Bianca Bustamante and Marta García took the wins in Races 1-3 respectively. Prema Racing's Nerea Martí and Marta García took pole positions for the weekend. MP motorsport's Hamda and Marta took the fastest laps with Hamda scoring the first two races. Hamda Al Qubaisi, who was recovering from a broken wrist fracture from an accident in another championship in 2023 was the stellar performer of the weekend. Nerea Martí and Léna Bühler also featured on the podium.

Round 3 of the series took place at the 4.7Km Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya in Spain where Emely De Hues and Léna Bühler took their race victories for the first time in Race 1 and 3 respectively. Amna Al Qubaisi emerged victorious in the Race 2 of the weekend. Getting used to the podium, Marta García, Abbi Pulling and Hamda Al Qubaisi took their podiums finishes as well.

Round 4 of the series was hosted by Circuit Zandvroot in the Netherlands. The 4.3Km circuit saw double victory by Hamda Al Qubaisi in Race 1 and 3. Carrie Schreiner took her first win of the season in Race 2. Léna Bühler, Nerea Martí, Marta García and Emily De Hues were on the podium for the weekend.

Autodrome Nazionale Monza, the 5.8Km track in the heart of Italy that features there ever famous parabola hosted the Round 5 of the series. Marta García returned back to the top position on the podium in Race 1. Léna Bühler and Bianca Bustamante took the wins in the next two races respectively. Nerea Martí, Abbi Pulling and Jessica Edgar graced the podium as well in Monza.

F1 academy visited the shorter circuit of the season, 3.8Km Circuit Paul Ricard for the penultimate round of the series. Usuals Nerea Martí and Marta García took race wins with Marta winning double in Race 2 and 3. Lola Lovinfosse returned to the podium twice alongside Abbi Pulling and Léna Bühler.

The last round of the F1 academy 2023 season took place at the 5.5Km Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas, US. The last round became a title decider with Prema Racing's Marta García and ART Gran Prix's Léna Bühler tied for the win. Come race day, Marta García won the first race, Hamda Al Qubaisi the second and Jessica Edgar took her first win of the season in Race 3. Léna Bühler took two podiums but fell short of just enough points to beat Marta.

The season finished with Prema Racing's Marta García winning with 278 points and ART Gran Prix's Léna Bühler coming in second. MP Motorsports Hamda Al Qubaisi finished in P3. Prema Racing took the Team's championship with 419 points only 8 ahead of MP Motorsport who finished in second.

The F1 academy 2023 season was exciting, encouraging and featured some fantastic racing. All F1 Academy race recaps are available for free on their YouTube channel . Round 7 which was broadcasted live is also available on the same channel for a rewatch.

This article is part of series titled "The long road to seeing a woman drive in Formula 1". What comes next for F1 academy champions of 2023 and did F1 academy succeed in giving them the necessary support as it set out to do, find out in the next article.