Formula E planning mandatory test for female drivers


Plans to hold a women's-only Formula E test later this year have been verbally agreed between the teams as part of the promoter's drive to bring female talent into future race seats during the Gen4 era from 2026.

Racing can reveal that the test is tentatively scheduled to take place within Valencia's traditional four-day pre-season test from November 5-8 later this year. The race will be at least half a day long for female talent and is likely to take place on Thursday, November 7.

Formula E ran a similar experiment the day after the 2018 Diriyah E-Prix when 11 drivers, including Catherine Legge, Tatiana Calderon, Jamie Chadwick and Betske Visser, took part in today's test alongside regular Formula E drivers.

The same number will take part in Valencia, where each team is set to nominate one female driver – with teams already contacting some female racers to take part in the initiative.

One driver who could be part of the race later this year and who experienced Formula E for the first time in Berlin Tempelhof yesterday is 2023 Formula 1 Academy champion Marta Garcia.

Garcia, who is managed by Iron Dames, has been selected by the ERT Formula E team to join touring car driver Miguel Azcona in Berlin.

She was supportive of plans to include a female-specific test in the official promoter sessions in Valencia.

“I know in the past there was also some testing with girls in Formula E three or four years ago, but we haven't seen much more since then, so I think they might do a test in November,” Garcia told The Race. .

“It's a really good initiative to try and bring more women into Formula E like me here in testing as well.

“Even Alice [Powell] Also with visualization. I think it's a great idea whoever came up with the idea, a lot of girls will be able to show their performance in the Formula E test and also, who knows, like we have a Formula 1 academy as well, maybe there's also something related to electric but with girls or whatever. So let's see.”

Powell, who also led the Valencia test, sees more trips for female racers as an important strategy moving forward in Formula E, saying that “more opportunities, such as the rookie test, will give us all the chance to get behind a great piece.” Machinery, driving and being part of a Formula E race weekend.”

“It's these kinds of opportunities where teams will choose to either put myself or Marta, whoever, in the car, to gain that experience, and for me, it's different because I'm mainly doing it for the simulator. [correlation, as Envision’s simulator driver]But I'm sure Marta would probably like a seat in Formula E

“There are different ways but I think more opportunities like this is what it will take.”

Formula E is set to use power steering in its fourth rule set from 2026, a decision that was included in part to try to boost elements of gender parity.

“Which [Gen4] “It will be our first car with power steering,” Dodds recently confirmed on The Race's Formula E podcast.

“Because one of the other hurdles we realize is that 45 minutes of racing in a Formula E car requires a lot of upper body physical strength – neck, chest and arms, which sometimes puts women at a disadvantage, so a Gen4 car will do that in It actually comes with power steering.

The test is not the “perfect answer.”

Formula E announced two weeks ago that Beth Baretta, owner of the IndyCar team, will take over as Vice President of Sports for Formula E Operations.

The move will see it gain diverse remits and, according to Formula E, it will specialize in “all Formula E sporting and championship activities, and grow new business opportunities – working closely with the FIA, existing teams and manufacturers while attracting new entrants to the FIA.” Series ecosystem.

Speaking to The Race in Berlin last weekend, Baretta said that while the test was important and relevant, it was only one aspect of attracting more diversity to the world championships.

“This idea is that we need to do deep research and we need to get data, but it has to go beyond just opportunity, and opportunity is not just a test day,” Baretta said.

“An opportunity is a woman signing a full-time, multi-year deal. You need time behind the wheel to become who you are. When you get in, you'll never get there. It can't be for the sake of showing it, it has to be [more] “If you want to invest in people.”

“The reality is, business-wise, does this matter?” Baretta continued. “This is a mixed sport and there's something very cool about that, the fact that we don't divide the crowd, it's not men's football and women's football, it's not the Olympics.

“All of these things have value, but the unique thing about this is that it's blended, and how wonderful it is [that is]. Everyone is welcome.

“Usually, the bottom line is who's the fastest, give them the opportunity. You can also say that about the engineer, the engineer who's going to make the car go faster or win the race, well, is she going to have the opportunity to learn? They want the opportunity, a consistent opportunity.”

“So, I don't think test days are the full answer, they're real but I think a lot of it is that people need to realize why they're important and important because they'll ultimately lead to better racing. How cool would that be?”



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