Article by: Dineo Modise (Journalist)
The world-famous academy which has delivered several youngsters to the F1 grid has taken in their first female driver, a significant moment in the history of Scuderia Ferrari and its academy.
The Dutch Belgian born teenage go-karter earned her academy position after winning FIA’s inaugural Girls on Track – Rising Stars program which runs jointly with the Ferrari driver academy and the governing body’s Women in Motorsport commission. The Girls on Track – Rising Stars Program promotes women in motorsport and supports the most talented young girls between the ages of 12 and 16.
“FIA’s Girls on Track – Rising Stars Program is key to our commitment to supporting gender diversity in our sport” says FIA President Jean Todt.
Weug will undergo a training program which includes preparing for her first season of single seating racing in one of FIA’s Formula 4 championships.
“Maya’s arrival is a clear indication of the Scuderia’s commitment to making motorsport increasingly inclusive, in line with the hashtag supported by the entire Formula 1 community #weraceasone “says Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto.
Weug believes that winning the final stage of the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars program made her realize that she was right to pursue her dream of becoming a racing driver after having a lot of success in national and international karting.
“It’s a huge honour to be with Ferrari Driver Academy and to represent them and FIA Women in Motorsport. I’m going to make them proud and give everything I have and I’m going to aim for a top position of course” she says. The last woman to race in F1 was the late Italian Lella Lombardi in 1976, one of only two females to start in a Grand Prix in the sport’s 71-year history.