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Calendar, format for all-female F1 Academy series revealed

Formula 1 has revealed the full calendar and the weekend format for the all-female F1 Academy series that aims to increase the participation of women in motorsport.

F1 flag flies in the morning

Featuring 21 races across seven rounds, the inaugural season of F1 Academy will kick-off at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on 28-29 April, with further standalone events at Valencia, Barcelona, Zandvoort, Monza and Paul Ricard until the end of July.

Following a three-month break, the championship will conclude on the support bill for the US Grand Prix on 21-22 October, giving budding female drivers a chance to showcase their skills to the F1 paddock.

As previously announced, drivers will get 15 days of testing across the year, with the first official test scheduled at Barcelona on 11-12 April, two weeks before the start of the campaign. The exact schedule of the remaining test days will be revealed in the coming weeks, according to a press release issued by F1.

As far as the weekend format goes, each round will feature three races to maximise the amount of track time available to the drivers. Each weekend will kick off with two 40-minute practice sessions, followed by two qualifying sessions of 15 minutes each.

The first qualifying will set the grid for the opening race of the weekend, while the starting order of Race 3 will be determined by the second qualifying session.

The top eight drivers of Race 1 will then be reversed to form the grid for the second race, which will last only 20 minutes compared to the standard 30-minute length for the other two contests.

The points system for the two main races will be exactly the same as F1, with the top 10 drivers awarded in the following order: 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1. 

Jamie Chadwick leads Abbi Pulling, Fabienne Wohlwend

Jamie Chadwick leads Abbi Pulling, Fabienne Wohlwend

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Like Formula 2 and Formula 3, only the top eight drivers will score points in the shorter sprint race, with the winner receiving 10 points in total.

An additional two points will be awarded to the polesitter in both qualifying sessions, while an extra point will be up for grabs in each of the three races for the fastest lap - with the condition that the driver finishes inside the top 10.

15 cars will take part in the season, with ART, Campos Racing, Carlin, MP Motorsport and Prema already announced as the five teams contesting the championship.

F1 Academy will run on Formula 4 level, using a Tatuus T421 chassis mated to a 165bhp Autotecnica engine. Pirelli will be the official tyre supplier, as with F1 and its other support categories.

Bruno Michel, General Manager of the F1 Academy, said: “I’m very pleased to reveal the calendar of F1 Academy’s inaugural season. Our goal was to be able to race on as many Formula 1 Grand Prix tracks as possible, with circuits that could be a great challenge for the drivers. 

“The teams know these layouts very well, so they will be able to help their young talents get to grips quickly. We had announced that F1 Academy would be racing alongside Formula 1 at one event, so it’s fantastic to be part of the F1 Grand Prix package in Austin, where we will also conclude the first season, in front of the F1 paddock and the American crowd. 

“There is quite a gap in between Rounds 6 and 7, but that is mainly due to the fact that we will be sending the cars and equipment by ship, to save on logistical costs.” 

“Additionally, there will be fifteen days of testing to add to the track time in 2023, with the first two days in Barcelona on April 11th and 12th. We will reveal the rest of the dates in due time.” 

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