By Beth McGuire, Senior Manager Research & Insights
2022 was a massive year for women’s sport. We witnessed record brand investment, fan attendance and viewership across the board for women’s sport. But within all of this, F1 has a unique and important job to do, how do we get the same momentum for women’s sport into the world of motorsports?
The demand is there. We are seeing an increasing number of female fans following F1 with around 45% of new fans over the last year being female. However, these fans are raising an important question: “Why is there no female F1 driver?”
F1 is sitting on an incredible opportunity to create some real sustainable pathways for more women to get into F1 across the sport, and make some real commitments to driving positive lasting change. There is truly no better way to engage a fanbase than making them feel as though they can be active participants in the sport. Investing in women in motorsports will be essential for F1 to maintain engagement with this new fanbase.
Thanks to some incredible organisations such as The Female Drive, More Than Equal, Girls on Track and the new F1 Academy, we are starting to see some real momentum for research, innovation, and investment across the sport to ensure women have place across the board.
With Susie Wolff at the helm of F1 Academy and some of the world’s most prominent feeder series teams joining the grid for its inaugural season, there’s reason to be hopeful that the series can be a success. Time will tell whether it gains the commercial appeal that other women’s sports have yielded over recent years, and from there, how the drivers themselves are able to build their brand and stand out from the rest.
Many say it will take at least 10 years to find a female F1 driver that is capable of winning the championship. But you can be rest assured that the momentum across the industry for women in F1 won’t stop until women are regularly competing across the sport.