Formula 1 has today announced that Susie Wolff has been appointed as the Managing Director of the F1 Academy, the all female driver category that aims to develop and prepare young female drivers to progress to higher levels of competition.
The appointment of Susie will further deepen the commitment made by Formula 1 to maximising the opportunity and potential of young female drivers to reach the highest level in motorsport and will provide the F1 Academy, the drivers and the teams with a strong strategic approach combined with a unique insight that will enhance the structure we are putting in place to support the fifteen F1 Academy drivers through this journey.
Susie has a wealth of experience in motor racing as a professional driver, team leader and advocate for greater participation for women in all levels of motorsport. This includes previously being the Williams F1 racing team development driver, racing in DTM and Formula Renault and leading the VENTURI Formula E team as Team Principal. Furthermore in 2016 Susie launched Dare To Be Different, a call to action aimed squarely at driving female talent by inspiring the next generation and increasing female participation in all levels and aspects of motorsport.
As Managing Director Susie will report directly to Formula 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali, and will be responsible for spearheading the development of female motorsport talent with a focus on creating a successful pathway to higher categories in the F1 pyramid.
Bruno Michel, as the General Manager of the F1 Academy, will continue to report to Stefano Domenicali and run the operational aspects of the F1 Academy as he has done successfully with Formula 2 and Formula 3, and continue to be the day to day liaison with all the teams relating to the technical and sporting side of the category.
The inaugural season for the F1 Academy was announced last week and will include seven rounds starting on 28-29 April in Spielberg, Austria and ending as a support series at the FORMULA 1 LENOVO UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX 2023 in Austin on 20-22 October.
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1
“It is fantastic news that Susie Wolff is joining the F1 Academy as Managing Director. Susie is an incredible person who understands what it takes to reach the highest levels of motorsport, both as a driver and Team Principal. She has a wealth of experience and first hand knowledge that will be of huge benefit to all of us and the drivers who are on their journey to progress through the racing pyramid . We are committed to maximising the opportunities in our sport for anyone to reach their true potential and achieve their dreams and we believe F1 Academy is a very important part of our plans to be a more diverse and inclusive sport.“
Susie Wolff, Managing Director F1 Academy
“The F1 Academy presents an opportunity to promote genuine change in our industry by creating the best possible structure to find and nurture female talent on their journey to the elite levels of motorsport, both on and off the racetrack. There is a lot of work to be done but there is also a clear determination to get this right. In doing so, I believe the F1 Academy can represent something beyond racing. It can inspire women around the world to follow their dreams and realise that with talent, passion and determination, there is no limit to what they can achieve. This is also the start of an important new chapter in my career, combining the experience I have developed so far with my passion for diversity and empowerment, so I would like to thank Stefano for entrusting me with a role that means as much to me personally as it does professionally.”
Bruno Michel, General Manager F1 Academy
“It is great news for the F1 Academy to have Susie joining us ahead of the start of our first season. She will be invaluable to me and my team as well as all of the drivers. We can’t wait to get started on the track with this exciting new chapter that will provide another route into the pyramid system for talented female drivers. I am of the strong view that if we give these drivers the same amount of time and experience as any other driver, they can make their way to higher levels in our sport. Our aim is to prepare the drivers that come into the Academy to be ready to progress to the next category within the next three years and we hope their skill and drive will inspire others to follow this path.“