Susie Wolff appointed Managing Director of F1 Academy
Former Williams F1 test driver and Venturi Formula E Team Principal Susie Wolff is ready for a new challenge in her inspiring career: a long-time advocate for women in motorsport, Wolff has now been appointed Managing Director of the brand-new F1 Academy championship.
F1 Academy announced an important development, as the new all-female championship takes shape after months of secrecy around the project launched by F1 in November 2022.
Former racing driver Susie Wolff has been appointed as series Managing Director and will directly report to F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali, as well as work alongside F1 Academy General Manager Bruno Michel, who will remain in charge of running the operational side of the championship together with FIA F2 and FIA F3.
“The F1 Academy presents an opportunity to promote genuine change in our industry by creating the best possible structure to find and nurture female talent on their journey to the elite levels of motorsport, both on and off the racetrack" – commented Wolff, who was the last female driver to participate in a F1 race weekend, entering four practice sessions between 2014 and 2015.
“There is a lot of work to be done but there is also a clear determination to get this right. In doing so, I believe the F1 Academy can represent something beyond racing", she continued.
“It is fantastic news that Susie Wolff is joining the F1 Academy as Managing Director" – stated Stefano Domenicali. "Susie is an incredible person who understands what it takes to reach the highest levels of motorsport, both as a driver and Team Principal."
Wolff raced in Formula Renault Uk and British F3 before moving to DTM, where she raced for Mercedes from 2006 to 2012. She would join Williams F1 Team in a development role and became test driver in 2014. At the British Grand Prix, Wolff became the first woman to enter a F1 weekend since 1992, when Giovanna Amati last attempted to qualify.
Wolff completed four practice sessions over two years, before switching to a managerial role.
Always determined to drive progress for women in motorsport, Wolff launched her own initiative in 2016 – Dare To Be Different, aimed at inspiring the next generation of talents at all levels. While DTBD later joined forces with the FIA Women In Motorsport Commission, Wolff took on a new challenge and became Team Principal at Venturi Racing in Formula E.
Under her guidance, Venturi went from tenth to second in the teams' championship, winning its first races and marginally missing out on the title in 2021/22.
“She has a wealth of experience and first hand knowledge that will be of huge benefit to all of us and the drivers who are on their journey to progress through the racing pyramid", Domenicali continued.
“We are committed to maximising the opportunities in our sport for anyone to reach their true potential and achieve their dreams and we believe F1 Academy is a very important part of our plans to be a more diverse and inclusive sport.“
The new all-female championship is set to kick off in April, with the first of the seven scheduled rounds of the inaugural season. Five teams will line up three drivers each, competing in F4 Tatuus cars in the 21 races.
The championship aims at providing a pathway for young female drivers in feeder series, hopefully tackling the challenges of the single seater ladder.
“It can inspire women around the world to follow their dreams and realize that with talent, passion and determination, there is no limit to what they can achieve", Wolff said.
“This is also the start of an important new chapter in my career, combining the experience I have developed so far with my passion for diversity and empowerment, so I would like to thank Stefano for entrusting me with a role that means as much to me personally as it does professionally.”