Formula Equal: An Initiative for Gender Equality in F1

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A team and an initiative are being cemented that would put an end to the low female participation in Formula 1. When and who would form it?.

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LatinAmerican Post | Javier Aldana

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Leer en español: Formula Equal: una iniciativa por la igualdad de género en la F1

Formula 1 has had little female presence throughout its history, as only five women have driven in the highest category of motorsport since its founding in 1950. However, the creation of a team that would guarantee gender equality in its entire structure and would secure the first female driver in an F1 race since 1992.

Equal formula: 50% feminine and 50% masculine

An old F1 acquaintance is moving his chips to build Formula Equal, a team that would guarantee gender equality. This is Craig Pollock, who was the former founder and CEO of British American Racing, a team that now belongs to Mercedes. Now, the British businessman revealed more details about the team that would break more paradigms.

Firstly, Pollock stated that the Formula Equal team would have gender equality in all its divisions. In other words, the team would have women occupying 50% of the directives, engineering positions and pilots. Finally, she explained that it is very difficult for existing teams to build such gender equality, so her new team is the ideal for women to reach the highest level of motorsport, although to do so they must reinforce the training or academy categories.

Secondly, Formula Equal would differ from the existing teams due to its original origin. That is, the team would belong to Saudi Arabia, according to various speculations, while most of the teams that make up F1 today are European.

Formula Equal would fit into the F1 plans

At the beginning of 2023, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) officially opened the process to receive new teams in F1. There, it was specified that the candidacies will be strongly evaluated financially and technically. Likewise, each team that submits its candidacy must have a solid plan for the sustainability criteria that are planned for 2030. Finally, the teams must have strong projects that have a great positive social impact.

Formula Equal would have covered at least two of the FIA requirements. First, because her gender equality project fits perfectly into the organization's request for positive social impact plans. Second, because of being a Saudi team, it would have the necessary financial support to meet the expectations and requirements of the FIA. However, the Formula Equal team is scheduled to debut until the 2026 season if everything goes according to plan.

F1's women's strategy

In recent years, Formula 1 has worked to ensure a greater female presence in motorsport. For this reason, in 2018 the W Series (Women Series) was created, which is a junior F1 category made up exclusively of female drivers. There, they sought to promote 19 female talents competing with identical cars, thus guaranteeing that the most skilled ones won and not those with the best cars.

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However, the W Series suffered a major crisis in the 2022 season, mainly due to lack of funding. For this reason, the last three races were canceled, and the 2023 season was left in doubt. Consequently, Formula 1 and the motorsport authorities received great criticism because they did not contribute money for the completion of the competition.

In contrast, F1 announced at the end of 2022 the creation of the F1 Academy, which will be made up of 15 young female drivers divided into five teams. There, the objective is to polish great female motorsport promises so that they can perform in Formula 3, Formula 2 and Formula 1. Likewise, it was guaranteed that the F1 Academy will not displace the W Series, but that they will coexist to guarantee a plan in which that women can compete with men by gaining experience.

In this way, the Formula Equal project complements each other with F1's strategy to empower female drivers. This, because the youth categories will strengthen female pilots who would see real possibilities of reaching Formula 1 at the hands of the Formula Equal team and its gender equality policy. This would be a winning effort for the competition and for the female drivers if funding and consistency from F1 is guaranteed.

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