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Who is Abbi Pulling? An insight into the F1 Academy star

Abbi Pulling recently made history as part of a breakout 2024 season for the young driver - so who is she and what’s been her racing career up to now?

Podium: second place Abbi Pulling, Rodin Motorsport

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Pulling became the first female driver to ever win a race in the British Formula 4 Championship by taking the chequered flag at Brands Hatch.
It was a faultless drive from the 21-year-old, who started in pole position before winning the second race of the weekend by 5.5 seconds to leave her inside the championship top 10.
The win added to Pulling’s terrific start to the year, as she has also won three of the opening four F1 Academy races leaving her top of the 2024 standings.

Who is Abbi Pulling?

Pulling is a British racing driver who currently competes for Rodin Motorsport in F1 Academy and the British F4 Championship, alongside duties as an Alpine junior which is a role she’s held since 2022.
She was born in Lincolnshire on 21 March 2003 and Pulling’s father, Andy, is a former motorbike endurance racer who subsequently owned a welding business. 

Abbi Pulling racing career

Pulling started competitive karting in 2013 where she was first part of the Trent Valley Kart Club and LGM Series, before progressing to the Super One Series and Kartmasters British GP.  
As she got older, Pulling became more and more competitive to ultimately finish karting in glistering fashion by winning the British Championship in 2017 and 2018 to earn herself a move up the racing ladder.
Abbi Pulling, Rodin Motorsport

Abbi Pulling, Rodin Motorsport

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

In 2018 Pulling started a two-year stint in Ginettas - the first in the Ginetta Junior Championship, the second in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge - where she proved competitive by twice finishing sixth at Donington Park, ahead of a career-defining move to single-seaters in 2020.
Pulling’s first single-seater campaign was in British F4 driving for JHR Developments and it almost could not have gone any better, as she stood on the podium four times helping her to finish sixth in the standings. By finishing sixth, Pulling came ahead of current F3 participants Christian Mansell and Matias Zagazeta, as well as now F2 driver Rafael Villagomez - but 2021 failed to bring the same luck for her.
Midway through her sophomore year in British F4, Pulling’s funding - which came mostly from her father - ran dry, meaning she had to quit the series after three podiums in the opening six race weekends which left her eighth in the standings at the time. 
But fortunately for Pulling, at the start of 2021, she was placed on the reserve list for the third season of W Series which ultimately saved her racing career. This is because a spot on the grid became available for the third round at Silverstone, where Pulling replaced Gosia Rdest at the Puma W Series Team before qualifying and finishing eighth.
Pulling’s next opportunities came in the final two weekends of that campaign, where she finished seventh in Zandvoort before a successful weekend in Austin which confirmed her spot on the 2022 grid. That’s because, although Pulling converted her pole into fourth in the first race, she came second in the next race which secured seventh in the standings and automatic qualification for the 2022 season because she finished inside the championship top eight.
So by this point, Pulling’s career was very much on the up and she scored another two podiums the following year to help her finish fourth in the W Series standings. That was also the year she joined the Alpine Affiliate programme - a role which saw her and Aseel Al-Hamad become the first women to drive an F1 car in Saudi Arabia ahead of the country’s grand prix in 2022.  
Pulling then progressed into a full-time role at the Alpine academy in 2023, which was also the year she made her F1 Academy debut following the demise of W Series as it entered administration before liquidating. 
Abbi Pulling, Rodin Motorsport

Abbi Pulling, Rodin Motorsport

Photo by: Shameem Fahath

She had another solid season by scoring seven podiums, leaving Pulling fifth in the championship, but that maiden victory still eluded her.
That win did finally come on the opening weekend of the 2024 F1 Academy season in Jeddah though, as Pulling actually crossed the line in second but was promoted into first post-race because Doriane Pin received a 20-second penalty for driving the cool-down lap at full pace after failing to notice the chequered flag. 
It left her top of the championship after finishing second in the first race of the weekend, yet Pulling headed into the following round determined to prove that she can win on-track. That led to a faultless performance in Miami, as Pulling won both races from pole to extend her championship lead over Pin to 34 points with five weekends left.
But Pulling’s F1 Academy campaign coincides with a return to British F4. She started her British F4 season with seventh and a non-points finish in Donington Park before seventh, a victory and sixth in Brands Hatch which currently leaves her seventh in those standings.

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