Motorsport UK Academy drivers get inaugural F1 Academy campaign underway
The first-ever F1 Academy test takes place at Barcelona Circuit on 11 and 12 April – and all four of the British drivers on the grid have been involved with the Motorsport UK Academy within the past 12 months.
Jess Edgar, Chloe Grant and Abbi Pulling are all current members of the Motorsport UK Academy, while Chloe Chong received support towards her application for and participation in last year’s FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars programme.
The F1 Academy is an ambitious new project from Formula 1 to develop and prepare female drivers to progress to higher levels of competition, with 15 drivers and five teams involved in its inaugural season.
The 2023 season gets underway on 28 April at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, and features 21 races across seven rounds designed to feature as many Formula 1 Grand Prix tracks as possible, giving the grid the opportunity to compete on a variety of challenging circuits and develop their technical skills. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali recently confirmed plans to align with the F1 calendar for 2024.
Over the years, the Motorsport UK Academy and its various programmes has supported hundreds of young drivers in their quest to be the best, with stars such as Lando Norris, Tom Ingram and Elfyn Evans amongst the Academy alumni. Our Academy unites coaches, partners and staff to identify and provide unique programmes at no cost to the athlete, solely focused on developing the sport’s best talent.
Abbi Pulling, 20, will race for Rodin Carlin in F1 Academy. Abbi has previously competed in British Formula 4, where she took four podiums on the way to P6 in the Championship, and W Series, in which she finished seventh and fourth in the 2021 and 2022 respectively. She is currently in the second year of the Team UK Futures programme, which develops UK competitors aged 15-24 through the competitors’ pathway into the Team UK programme and beyond. Abbi is also part of Alpine F1’s Academy Programme.
Cumbrian-born Jess Edgar joins Abbi in the Rodin Carlin stall. Jess started karting aged five and finished fourth in the British Kart Championship in 2019, before moving on to claim points in all 24 races and seventh in the standings in the UK’s GB3 Championship last year. Jess is in the second year of the Motorsport UK DiSE course (Enhanced Diploma in Sporting Excellence), a bespoke two-year sporting excellence course designed to support talented drivers and co-drivers through both the sporting and academic journey.
Scottish driver Chloe Grant is in the first year of the DiSE course. She will compete for the hugely-successful ART Grand Prix, founded by newly-appointed Ferrari Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur and Nicolas Todt. The team has helped a plethora of talent on their way to F1, including Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Charles Leclerc, George Russell and, most recently, Nyck de Vries. Chloe was a finalist of the 2022 FIA Girls on Track – Rising Star programme.
Finally, British-Canadian Chloe Chong will race for Prema Racing, multiple champions in F2 and F3. She began competing in karts in the UK in 2013 before racing in the Rotax Max Euro Trophy and the IAME Ladies Cup in France last year. Chloe also achieved one of the three finalist spots in the 2022 FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars programme.