Sophia Floersch joins Alpine F1 Team Academy
Having just made her return to single seaters in FIA F3, Sophia Floersch continues her rise to the top of motor racing by joining the Alpine F1 Team's Academy program.
Sophia Floersch has announced that she will join the Alpine Academy in 2023, becoming one of the few women associated with F1 team's programmes.
She joins Jack Doohan, Victor Martins, Nikola Tsolov, Gabriele Minì, Matheus Ferreira, Aiden Neate, Kean Nakamura as well as Abbi Pulling, who graduates from the Affiliate program.
“Joining the Alpine Academy is an honour and a major opportunity in my career", said Floersch. "I have great ambitions and I am sure by applying the knowledge and expertise from Alpine, it will only help me grow. I can't wait to start this new chapter and represent the Alpine brand on the global stage.”
Floersch, 22, has already raced in some of the most competitive racing series in the world - from high-downforce single-seaters up until the FIA F3 level - becoming only the second woman to do so after the rebranding from GP3 Series - to GT3 machinery of the highly competitive DTM, as well as the equally challenging LMP2 prototypes, which she brought to the class top ten in her rookie participation at the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours.
The young German made her first international headlines in 2015, when she took pat in the Ginetta Junior Championship and collected two wins and four podiums, becoming the youngest driver to win a race in the series. She would advance to Formula 4 in 2016, becoming the first female to score points in the ADAC F4 - at that time one of the most competitive F4 series in the world. She continued to make history, scoring her first podiums in the following season.
Her career in single seaters continued with steady pace in 2018, when she entered the FIA F3 European Championship - and famously survived one of the scariest crashes in modern motorsport at the Macau GP. Less then four months after breaking her spine, Floersch was back on track in the new Formula Regional European Championship, which she would finish in seventh place in the standings.
In 2020, Floersch contested a double program in FIA F3 and in European Le Mans Series, making her sportscar racing debut at the wheel of the Richard Mille Racing Team's Oreca LMP2. The all-female team finished the Le Mans 24 Hours in the top ten in class, with three rookie drivers.
Sophia proved to be really competitive in endurance racing, in the fast high-downforce LMP2 machinery. She stepped up to World Endurance Championship in 2021 - also combining a season in GT3 in DTM - and made history by becoming the first woman to climb on the overall podium in ELMS at the end of the season - and repeated the result with a second place at the 2022 season opener.
While the rest of her 2022 campaign was marred by bad luck, Floersch continued to show podium-worthy pace in every round. Floersch, though, had never hid the fact that she was interested in a comeback to single-seaters - and caught the opportunity with PHM Racing by Charouz, as the team enters FIA Formula 3. The young German will therefore contest her second season in F3 in 2023, and is currently in Bahrain for pre-season testing.
The affiliation with the Alpine Academy is therefore the highly deseved recognition for a driver that has proved to belong to the competitive elite.
Alpine launched in 2022 the Rac(H)er programme, a five-point initiative to tackle gender imbalance in motorsport and committed to an unprecedented effort to support female talents.
Last year, Alpine announced Abbi Pulling as one of its affiliated drivers, as well as the recruitment of Alice Powell as Talent Identification & Development Mentor, who is expected to specifically work with female drivers.
With the addition of Floersch, Alpine joins Ferrari as the second team to have two female drivers in its young driver program.
“Rac(H)er is key in our continuous quest for performance, to build the future of our industry by driving real change and creating equal and fair opportunities across a range of human talents", explained Laurent Rossi, Alpine CEO. "Sophia and Abbi, for example, are a fine example of such talents. I am delighted that Sophia is joining our programme and it’s an honour to promote Abbi to the Academy. Both drivers, I am sure, will bring a lot to Alpine.”
Alongside the Alpine F1 Team effort, Alpine raced in WEC in the Hypercar class in 2022; will return to the FIA World Endurance Championship with a LMP2 team, and announced a two-car LMDh programme for 2024 - making the French brand the perfect affiliation for Floersch for both the single-seater as well as endurance paths.