Maya Weug has become the first female member of the Ferrari Driver Academy after she outshone the other girls at the evaluation camp which took place last week at the Scuderia headquarters in Maranello.
The FIA Women in Motorsport Commission set up the Girls on Track-Rising Stars” initiative last year with Ferrari taking on an active role in the programme. The initiative aims to promote women in motor sport and support the most talented young girls between the ages of 12 and 16 on the road to a career as a professional driver.
Four girls were in contention at the final part of the programme with Doriane Pin, 17, Antonella Bassani, 14, and Julia Ayoub, 15 being the other candidates. The girls underwent a series of tests to assess not only their pure speed, but also their potential before the FDA experts took the final decision.
Following the final stage of the initiative, Maya Weug was named as winner. Ferrari has decided to offer all of the four candidates a test in a 488 Challenge EVO, a car that puts out over 700 horsepower.
Weug is a Dutch girl, born in Spain, with a Belgian mother and a Dutch father. A busy training programme is awaiting her that includes taking part in one of the F4 Championships Certified by FIA.
My warmest congratulations to the Dutch/Belgian driver @WeugMaya. At just 16 years old she has already had a lot of success in national and international karting. The @FIA #GirlsOnTrack - #RisingStars programme is key to our commitment to supporting gender equality in our sport. https://t.co/BYLZSTI6IL— Jean Todt (@JeanTodt) January 22, 2021
“I will never forget this day! I am so happy to be the first female driver to join the Ferrari Driver Academy,” said Weug. „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,” she concluded.
Commenting on the announcement, Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto said: “This is a key moment in the history of Scuderia Ferrari and its Academy, the FDA, set up in 2019 to shape the drivers of the future for our Formula 1 team. Now, thanks to the partnership with the FIA in the “Girls on Track-Rising Stars” programme, for the first time, a female driver will join the Ferrari Driver Academy.
„She is Maya Weug and 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.”
FIA President Jean Todt added: “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.”