Abbi Pulling nominated for 2023 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award
F1 Academy front runner Abbi Pulling has been nominated among the 10 finalists for the 2023 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award, a prestigious accolade assigned to the most promising young British racer and that will award a £200,000 prize as well as a Formula 1 test drive with the Aston Martin F1 Team.
F1 Academy and Alpine Academy driver Abbi Pulling has been nominated among the 10 finalists for the 2023 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award, which is set to award the most promising British young talent with a £200,000 prize and a Formula 1 test drive with the Aston Martin F1 Team.
The award was established in 1989 and has since then assigned the accolade to the most promising up-and-coming British racing drivers. Winners of the award include names of the likes of David Coulthard (on the inaugural edition), Dario Franchitti, Jenson Button, Gary Paffett, Anthony Davidson, Paul Di Resta, Alex Sims, Jake Dennis, George Russell and Lando Norris. Jamie Chadwick was nominated in 2019 as well as 2022.
Finalists have to be over 16 at the time of the on track assessment and under 24, as well as compete in categories below FIA F3 or on their rookie year.
Pulling is the only female finalist and joins Taylor Barnard, James Hedley, Arvid Lindbald, Joseph Loake, William Macintyre, Tom Mills, Matthew Rees, Louis Sharp and Callum Voisin on the list of 2023 potential winners.
From this list, the four finalists will be chosen, who will compete for the prestigious prize through a two-day on-track assessment at Silverstone, where they will be tested on a variety of race cars including the MSV Formula 2, GT3 and LMP3 machinery.
The judging panel is chaired by former F1 driver and BRDC vice-president Derek Warwick, and includes top British racers such as Alex Sims, Darren Turner, Dario Franchitti, Jason Plato as well as Le Mans-winning race engineer Leena Gade.
The Award will be presented to the selected winner at the end-of-season Autosport Award gala on December 3.
Pulling currently sits in fifth place in the F1 Academy drivers' standings, after a rollercoaster first season in the all-female championship promoted by F1. The 20 year old from Gosberton, Lincolnshire, entered the 2023 season as one of the favourites for the inaugural title, but endured a campaign marred by bad luck – still showing great speed and racecraft in all the rounds.
At the season opener in Austria, Pulling conquered two pole positions, but was then demoted to the back of the grid after a disqualification for her team Rodin Carlin. With great charges through the field, the Alpine junior still claimed two fourth place finishes and a fastest lap, before scoring her first podium at the next round in Valencia's third race.
Despite a few difficult qualifyings, Pulling added two more podiums in Barcelona, but would record her first DNF at Zandvoort for a contact with no fault of her own. Pulling enjoyed her best weekend so far at Monza, with her first pole position and two more podiums, missing out on a top three in the first race after a photo finish.
Abbi would claim one more pole position at Le Castellet in the series' final European round of the season, then returned to the podium with a second place finish in race 1, equalling her personal best. While she will enter the season finale at COTA out of the title fight, Pulling is still in contention for a top three in the championship standings.
Prior to F1 Academy, Pulling was among the front runners in W Series - where she collected three podiums and a pole position, scoring points in all races – as well as in British F4, where she was the protagonist of a spectacular rookie season with four podiums to her name.