Maya Weug and Doriane Pin completed their first day in a FIA Formula 3 car - as Iron Dames starts its cooperation with the series diversity programme.
One day after the first W Series-FIA F3 joint test, on Wednesday 10th November it was Iron Dames' turn to hit the track at Magny Cours. Maya Weug and Doriane Pin had their first taste of FIA Formula 3 machinery as part of the FIA F3 Diversity Programme that aims to create a bridge between the female-oriented projects such as W Series and Iron Dames and the international third-tier feeder series, to ultimately increase female participation in the category. On Tuesday, W Series Academy members Nerea Marti and Irina Sidorkova had completed their first test day in the Dallara F3 car and had to adjust from the Tatuus T318 car used in W Series to the more powerful and DRS-equipped Dallara car - but the step was even bigger for Weug and Pin, who had never driven anything bigger than a F4 car before. “It’s been amazing to be here in a new car, on a new track, and to learn a lot. I really loved every lap, the speed and the downforce of this car is just amazing." - commented Weug, who is the first ever female driver contracted by Ferrari having won the inaugural edition of the FIA Girls on Track - Rising Star programme. “It’s much faster than the F4 car. I can carry so much speed in the fast corners because of the downforce. I really enjoyed today." - she explained. 17-year-old Frenchwoman Doriane Pin was also among the four finalists for the spot on the Ferrari Driver Academy and was picked up by Iron Dames to contest the Michelin Le Mans Cup in the Ferrari 488 GT3. Pin initially shared the driving seat with Sarah Bovy, and was then joined by Manuela Gostner in the second half of the season. The young racer had also driven F4 machinery before switching to Endurance racing, so her return to single seater was another great opportunity to keep learning and improving in a variety of different cars. “The day was incredible! It’s a new car for me." - said Pin. "There is so much downforce, and the speed is incredible also. I enjoyed it a lot. And of course, thanks to the advice from the coach and the people around, we could progress quickly. I’m super happy and I am sure it will be beneficial for the future" - she added, mentioning the coaching from 2021 FIA Formula 3 champion Dennis Hauger. Both days, in fact, Hauger and Magny-Cours Racing School’s instructor Julien Gilbert supported the selected drivers in their familiarisation process with the car and the Norwegian set reference laps in the morning in order to compare data. The two days' programs were very similar, with the exception of the morning runs on Wednesday which were slightly delayed with the cold weather and saw Maya and Doriane being involved in some PR activities instead. The test - which was aimed at introducing the drivers to the new car, its setups and the challenges of the series - included two qualifying simulations and two 15-lap race simulations, always alternated by data analysis and coaching. Each driver was allocated three sets of Pirelli slick tyres and three sets of wet weather tyres. The challenges of the Pirelli compound management was one of the biggest talking points among the W Series drivers, who were used to different tyre suppliers. Maya Weug had the chance to work with the Pirelli rubber in her first Italian F4 season, but obviously on a very different car. “I’ve learned a lot, including the tyre management and how to carry speed into the fast corners." - said Maya. "You need so much confidence to get there, but at the end of the day, this is where I have improved the most." “I think compared to F4, in the qualifying runs, you have so few laps, so you have to know exactly where the grip is in those one or two push laps. That’s the biggest step for me, but it’s really nice to have such an experience to learn all these things." “The Pirelli tyres are good." - elaborated Pin. "There is a lot of grip, and you need to be really focused on your driving and to push really hard to have a great feeling of them." “The car is really tough, and we need to be precise to be fast and to have a good pace", she added. "For sure, you need to have the technique and you need to have time to learn everything on the car and to understand its behaviour. But there were a lot of runs to allow us to improve." It was surely a lot to take in in such a short amount of time, but the test represented a first, important step in the newly-launched programme in partnership with Iron Dames. “For us, to get this test today means that we did a great job during the past season" - says Doriane."It means I can learn more than in just the Endurance environment, and to progress to become a better driver." “It’s a perfect way to conclude the 2021 season. It cannot end in a better way!” - echoed Weug, as both drivers will hopefully announce their plans for the next season soon. But racing is not over yet for Pin, who will make her Ferrari Challenge debut at the Ferrari World Finals in two week's time at Mugello. Both drivers had impressive rookie seasons in their respective championships and we can expect them to continue on this path under the banner of Iron Dames.