In a groundbreaking development for the world of Formula One, the Aston Martin team proudly announced that their driver ambassador, Jessica Hawkins, has etched her name in history by becoming the first woman to take the helm of a modern F1 car in nearly five years.
Last Thursday, the 28-year-old sensation took center stage at the Hungaroring in Budapest, where she completed a remarkable 26 laps behind the wheel of the AMR21, Aston Martin’s 2021 race car. Hawkins, renowned as a former British karting champion and a podium-finisher in the W Series, also boasts an impressive stint as a stunt driver in a James Bond film. Follow your favourite F1 team with attractive F1 betting odds from Nextbet.
Jessica Hawkins is currently gearing up to champion the team’s entry into F1’s all-female series, the F1 Academy, set to debut next season. This groundbreaking initiative will see all ten teams field a representative driver and race under their livery. Prior to her historic test, Hawkins diligently prepared on the Aston Martin simulator, ensuring she was ready to make her mark on the iconic Hungaroring circuit.
Robert Sattler, the team’s evolution programme director, lauded Hawkins for her exceptional performance during the test session. “Jessica truly excelled in her run at the Hungaroring,” he remarked.
Reflecting on her historic achievement, Hawkins stated, “Getting to drive the AMR21 has been a dream come true for me and one I’ve been ready to fulfill for a long time. I’ll keep pushing for more, and, in the process, I want to inspire other women and let them know they should follow their dream no matter what it is.”
Formula One has not witnessed a female driver start a Grand Prix since Lella Lombardi graced the circuit in Austria back in 1976. Lombardi and Maria Teresa de Filippis remain the only two women to have raced in F1 since the championship’s inception in 1950. The last woman to test an F1 car was the Colombian talent Tatiana Calderón, who served as a test driver at Sauber and took the wheel in Mexico in October 2018.
While the all-female W Series concluded its three-season run in 2022 due to financial challenges, the F1 Academy, with strong backing from the sport’s owners, has set its sights on forging a long-term path to bring female talent into F1. Currently in its debut season, the Academy has declared its intentions to join the F1 calendar as a support race next year.
Despite these promising strides, Susie Wolff, the Academy’s managing director, has cautioned that it could take up to a decade to fully integrate a female driver into Formula One. Nevertheless, the journey has begun, and Jessica Hawkins’ historic drive marks a significant milestone in that path to equality and inclusivity in the world of motorsport. Get the latest updates from the world of F1 only on Nextbet Sports.