Dutch driver Maya Weug is to become the first female driver to join the Ferrari Driver Academy after outshining her competitors at the evaluation camp which took place at Ferrari’s headquarters in Maranello, as part of the final stage of the FIA “Girls on Track-Rising Stars” programme.
The initiative was set up by the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, in conjunction with the FDA. It aims to promote women in motorsport and support the most talented young female drivers between the ages of 12 and 16.
Jean Todt, President of the FIA was very complimentary of Maya and the program as a whole, “This is an important moment in Maya Weug’s career, and I extend my warmest congratulations to all four drivers who reached this final selection.
“The FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars programme is key to our commitment to supporting gender diversity in our sport. I would like to thank Ferrari Driver Academy all our partners who have joined us in embracing such an innovative and positive initiative.”
Weug, who was born in Spain to a Belgian mother, inherited her passion for motorsport from her father, and tried a kart for the first time at the age of seven and fell in love with it. For Christmas in 2011, she was given a kart of her own and from then on, nothing could keep her away from racing. Awaiting Weug is a busy training program, which includes taking part in a FIA certified Formula 4 Championship.
The first edition of the FIA “Girls on Track-Rising Stars” may have come to a close but entries will soon be open for the second edition on the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission portal.
Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal & Managing Director Mattia Binotto highlighted the success of the Ferrari Driver academy, and looks forward to seeing her development over the years to come : “Over the course of this year, she will progress along with us and also take part in one of the F4 Championships Certified by FIA, the category seen as the first step in single-seaters on the road to Formula 1.
“Maya’s arrival is a clear indication of the Scuderia’s commitment to making motorsport increasingly inclusive, in line with the hashtag supported by the entire Formula 1 community, #weraceasone.
“This project is therefore a new element to mark the start the year for the FDA, which is proving to be a great success: five of its 19 students have made it to Formula 1 and four of them, 20% of the entire grid, will be racing this coming season in the top level of motorsport.”
Marco Matassa, head of the Ferrari Driver Academy was impressed with the speed of Weug even with little experience in single-seater cars, “We were impressed with her dedication and preparation, from a physical perspective and also with her approach to competition. Despite very limited experience in a single-seater, she had a good turn of speed and demonstrated a mastery of the car that meant she could immediately implement the instructions she was given.”
The understandably excited Weug cannot wait to get started, adding “I will never forget this day! I am so happy to be the first female driver to join the Ferrari Driver Academy. Winning the final stage of the FIA “Girls on Track – Rising Stars” programme makes me realise that I was right to pursue my dream of becoming a racing driver.
“I will give my all to show the people who believed in me that I deserve to wear the Ferrari Driver Academy uniform and I can’t wait to come to Maranello to start preparing for my first season of single-seater racing”