As we prepare for our first foray into F1 Academy next season with the latest addition to our driver squad Tina Hausmann, Aston Martin F1 Team Driver Ambassador Jessica Hawkins is taking on the role of the team's Head of Racing for F1 Academy. With new responsibility and a focus on maximising performance in the ultra-competitive, all-female single-seater series, Jessica spoke to us about her excitement, the task ahead, the challenge that awaits Tina, and why she's raring to go in her new role.
How excited are you to be working with Tina?
Over the last few weeks, Tina and I have been building our relationship, and I can already see how passionate she is and how driven she is to succeed.
From the moment we met, her focus and ambition have shone bright and she's fitting into the team well. Like me, she has a very strong work ethic, and our relationship is growing stronger and stronger by the day. I cannot wait to see what we can achieve in F1 Academy.
This is a big project, a big opportunity and a massive step up for Tina – we're already hard at work to ensure she hits the ground running next season.
What will your involvement in our F1 Academy project look like?
I will be mentoring Tina both on and off the track and working with PREMA Racing, the team that Tina will be competing with, to help ensure we are in the best position possible to fight for strong results.
This is a big project, a big opportunity and a massive step up for Tina – we're already hard at work to ensure she hits the ground running next season. I want to make sure we're able to give Tina everything she needs to maximise her performance.
Your role with the team has grown. How did it come about?
It's something I really wanted because I have so much experience that I can use to mentor Tina and accelerate her development.
I didn't really have to convince anyone in the team that expanding my role this way was the right thing to do, I think everyone felt this was a perfect fit and a natural step in my career. Since I joined Aston Martin F1 Team in 2021, the team has given me incredible support and the opportunity to realise so many of my ambitions, like driving an F1 car. We’re on an incredible journey and I’m excited for what's next.
Many of Tina's competitors will be embarking on their second season in the series. How challenging will it be for Tina as a rookie?
Drivers who have already competed in F1 Academy will have an advantage, and that's why we'll be doing everything we can to get Tina fully up to speed as quickly as possible. Getting her used to the circuits will be a priority, as many on the F1 Academy calendar will be completely new to her. She's going to get well acquainted with the simulator over the coming months!
Tina will be familiar with the cars though, as F1 Academy uses the same chassis and powertrain as those Tina has raced with in Italian Formula 4 this season. This should put her in good stead, and she'll have a good fundamental understanding of the car.
Next season will be a challenge but also a great opportunity for Tina. She's ready to take the next step in her career.
There is not enough diversity in the sport. There's a real risk that young girls are watching F1 and not realising that women are allowed to race.
Why is F1 Academy so important for the future of the sport?
The launch of F1 Academy this year has been a really positive step for the sport. The series provides the perfect platform for young female drivers to develop the skills and experience necessary to successfully compete in championships on the next steps of the motorsport ladder. It's an ideal training ground to help them progress in their racing careers.
F1 Academy also provides visibility. It's putting talented, young female drivers in the spotlight with it being on the F1 support package, and it's an opportunity to show younger generations that motorsport is open to all.
There is not enough diversity in the sport, and there aren't enough female figureheads at the pinnacle – this needs to change. There's a real risk that young girls are watching F1 and not realising that women are allowed to race because there are currently no female drivers competing in the championship.
We need to get more women behind the wheel at the pinnacle of the sport and increase diversity on and off the track. Driving this change is something both Aston Martin F1 Team and I are fiercely passionate about and committed to. The team is incredibly proactive with its diversity, equality and inclusion agenda; Tina joining us, the expansion of my role and our support of F1 Academy are further examples of this. We're fully behind F1 Academy, but for the series to succeed, the sport needs to get behind it too.
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