Lia Block to make F1 Academy debut with Williams/ART
American off road racer Lia Block is set to make her F1 Academy debut with ART Grand Prix, representing Williams F1 Team
American driver Lia Block – daughter of rally legend Ken Block and an established off road racer herself – is set to make her debut in the all-female F1 Academy championship, joining ART Grand Prix in the Williams-supported entry.
The 17 year old has recently competed across a wide variety of racing disciplines, including rally, rallycross and the all-electric off road series Extreme E, where she joined Carl Cox Motorsport from the Island X Prix in July, securing her first top-five finish.
While Block made her karting debut aged 11, she soon switched to off road disciplines, only to start testing single seaters in 2023. Her F1 Academy campaign will therefore represent her first full season in single seaters – and will have the chance to work alongside the Williams Racing Driver Academy to progress with her skills and racecraft.
"I am so excited to be joining the Williams Driver Academy and competing in F1 Academy in 2024!" – Lia Block commented. "This is something I never could have dreamed of. I can’t wait to embrace this new experience and learn as much as possible."
In her motorsports career, Block has already collected important achievements, such as the 2023 American Rally Association Open Two-Wheel Drive class, where she was recently crowned as the youngest ARA champion in history.
Lia joins Bianca Bustamante at ART Grand Prix, as the Filipino driver was the first F1 Academy signing of the 2024 season, and second in the championship's history.
Block is the second female driver to join the Williams Racing Driver Academy, following three-time W Series champion and current IndyNXT driver Jamie Chadwick.
"We are excited to welcome Lia to Williams Racing as our F1 Academy driver for 2024", said James Vowles, Team Principal at Williams Racing. "Lia has already achieved a tremendous amount in motorsport, has incredible natural talent, and the champion mindset and dedication to make a success of her journey into open-wheel racing."
"We cannot wait to get started on this journey together. As a team, we are committed to Formula 1 and F1 Academy’s joint efforts to improve female representation in motorsport, and we look forward to working with Lia as a key part of the Williams Racing Driver Academy."
The series joined the F1 support bill for the first time at its 2023 season finale at COTA, and will embark on its first full season as support series of F1 in seven rounds, having announced a global calendar that will feature three Middle Eastern rounds, one North American round, one round in East Asia and two in Europe. Block will have the chance to race on home soil at Miami International Autodrome on 4–5 May.