Abbi Pulling signs with Rodin Carlin in F1 Academy
W Series podium finisher and Alpine Academy driver Abbi Pulling will join the brand-new all-female championship F1 Academy, joining Rodin Carlin as the second team's signign.
After ART Grand Prix, also Rodin Carlin added a second driver to its F1 Academy stable, with a remarkable signing: British up-and-coming star Abbi Pulling.
Pulling, 19, is highly regarded as one of the most exciting talents in single seaters and has joined the Alpine Affiliated programme in 2021 after only three years of formula racing.
As part of the Alpine development programme, Pulling has already driven F1 machinery in a demo run in Saudi Arabia, as well as at Silverstone - and has been one of the most promising drivers in the all-female championship W Series.
“It is great to be competing in the first season of the F1 Academy, especially to be working with such a successful team as Rodin Carlin" – Pulling commented.
"Having spent time with the team before, I can’t wait to get the season started, working alongside some incredible people. I have lots of trust in them and know they will push me to be the best I can be."
A multiple-time karting champion in the UK, the young driver made her debut in British F4 in 2020, claiming podium finishes and marginally missing out on her first win after a really strong campaign.
Having committed to a second full season in British F4 with the clear aim of fighting for the title, funding issues left the young British talent without a seat mid-way through the season and she was picked up by W Series for the home race at Silverstone. In her W Series debut, Pulling showed signs of brilliance and scored points at the British GP. She did even better at Zandvoort - and ultimately wrote her name among the female stars of the sport at the season finale at COTA, when she clinched a pole position and a second place, gaining automatic entry to the following season with only half of the races under her belt.
In 2022, Pulling continued to impress and enjoyed a very strong first part of the season, with two podiums in Spain and again at Silverstone. She was one of the only three drivers to score points at each round and eventually finished fourth in the standings.
Pulling is coached and managed by fellow British racer Alice Powell, who has been supporting Pulling since her first races in British F4.
“I’m very thankful for the continued support of the Alpine Academy for a second season and the great work of Gazing Performance and AlicePowell behind the scenes", she continued. "I’m also excited to welcome My First Alert who are supporting my programme for the first time this year.”
By joining F1 Academy, Pulling comes across as a very strong candidate for the inaugural season of the all-female championship. She joins teammate Jessica Edgar, 17, at Carlin.
As part of a joint W Series and FIA F3 programme, she has already tested the F3 Dallara car at Magny-Cours and will continue her path on the single-seater ladder with the new series, positioned at F4 level.
Pulling, though, will have to adapt to the new Tatuus T421 second gen car, having previously raced in the Mygale F4 in the British championship. The British squad's experience in junior series, though, will be a huge asset in Abbi's development and familiarization.
“We’re delighted towel come Abbi to the team for this first season of F1 Academy" – said team principal Stephanie Carlin. "Our paths have crossed in the past before and Abbi is a driver we’ve wanted to work with for some time now."
"We’re really excited that we are able to work on this programme together and have no doubt that Abbi will be a huge asset to the team. Thank you to the Alpine Academy for entrusting us with this next stage of Abbi’s career. We can’t wait to get on track.”
Announced in November at the Abu Dhabi F1 GP, the F1 Academy series will have five teams with three drivers each: Rodin Carlin is joined by Prema, ART Grand Prix, MP Motorsport, Campos Racing.
Aimed to help female progression through the ranks of junior formulae, F1 Academy set a price cap at 150,000 euros for drivers, with the remaining 50% of the budget being covered by F1. The Tatuus F4 cars will be equipped with Autotecnica engines and Pirelli tyres.