Aston Martin gives Jessica Hawkins first full F1 test outing

Aston Martin ambassador Jessica Hawkins has had her first proper test in a Formula 1 car, having driven the team’s AMR21 at the Hungaroring last week.

J Hawkins Aston Test

Hawkins thus became the first woman to test a current or near-current grand prix car since Tatiana Calderon had a brief outing in a Sauber C37 on a filming day in Mexico in 2018, although the Colombian also drove a 2013-spec C32 for the Swiss outfit later that year and then in 2019.

Former W Series driver Hawkins has previously driven older F1 cars in demonstration runs, and has been awaiting her chance to have an outing for Aston, which came after extensive time in the Silverstone outfit’s simulator.

The 2021 car has been used regularly this year by Felipe Drugovich as part of his development programme, and the Brazilian was also present in Hungary.

The test was delayed by heavy rain, although Hawkins was eventually able to get in three runs, with the track dry by the end.

“I want to say a big thank you to everyone at AMF1 Team for having the trust in me, believing in me, and for giving me this opportunity,” said Hawkins.

“It’s taken me every bit of blood, sweat and tears to get here. When I first heard it might be a possibility, I could hardly believe it. I’ve had to keep it secret for months now – which was pretty hard!

“It’s been absolutely worth it, and it’s given me really valuable insight. Nothing will compare to the acceleration and braking of an F1 car and, having looked at the data, I’m really proud of my performance.

Jessica Hawkins, Development Driver, Aston Martin F1 Team

Jessica Hawkins, Development Driver, Aston Martin F1 Team

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“Getting to drive the AMR21 has been a dream come true for me, and one I’ve been ready to fulfil for a long time. I’ll keep pushing for more and, in the process, I want to inspire other women and let them know they should follow their dream, no matter what it is.”

Aston team principal Mike Krack added: “We were really impressed by Jessica’s preparation for the test. She worked incredibly hard with our simulator team and that made it an easy decision to put her in the AMR21.

“Jessica approached the opportunity with great maturity. She was up to speed quickly, and found a nice rhythm.

"This has been a hugely significant moment in Jessica’s journey with AMF1 Team, and I am pleased we could give her this next step in her development journey by testing a modern F1 car.”

Aston evolution programme director Robert Sattler said that Hawkins had done a good job in tricky conditions.

“Jessica excelled in her first F1 test,” he noted. “After the installation lap we had a small delay as the circuit was hit by heavy rain. That resulted in a green track, and on her first proper run there were still some damp patches in a few corners.

“Jessica progressively built up speed on a tricky track while managing flawlessly the complexity of the AMR21 car. Her feedback was precise and correlated with our data.

“After three runs, the track had dried and she was already matching the reference lap speeds. Overall, Jessica executed an excellent test programme with a very professional attitude, and we hope to see her in the car again soon.”

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