Zap the blog car Alpine A110 test
An old sea serpent, the topic of women in F1 and motorsport has been reinvigorated in recent years due to the increasing diversity issues in our societies, as evidenced by the existence of a committee Women in motorsport and the program Girls on track of the Ferrari Academy, which took the form of the recruitment of Maya Weug, made its entry into Italian F4 this year.
A multiple program
Alpine, in turn, is competing with a program called Rac(H)er, which, as the pun suggests, aims to develop diversity within its own teams, especially with regard to women. This program covers all “genres” and “all areas of the business”, from technical functions to racing and competition.
The program will include a motorsport component and, based on research conducted by the Paris Brain Institute, will aim to combat received ideas about all alleged pseudo-scientific obstacles (physical fitness, mental) to access women driving F1.
Women like Michelle Mouton, Danica Patrick or Jutta Kleinschmidt, among many others, have already proven through their achievements that they can succeed in the competition (see here and here!), and currently the female pilots of Iron Lynx in GT strive in this way na, but F1 remains this ” glass ceiling “. As Alpine recalls, in 72 years of Formula 1 only six of the 885 drivers were female, and the last to drive in an official F1 session was Giovanna Amati in 1992 in a Brabham. It’s old. The obstacle is also and above all financial, hence the launch of a fund to support female talent in motorsport.
An education and support component, with the participation of Alpine staff in schools, will aim to improve young girls’ knowledge and interest in the racing professions and the automotive industry in general. The program will begin investing in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs that encourage women to follow a science and technology path and ensure they stay there for the long haul. Subsequently, a mentoring program in all departments of the company will help female employees develop in their career aspirations.
30% target for Alpine
While the Alpine workforce is currently 12% female, the target will be increased to 30% women within 5 years. This commitment now begins with the joint recruitment of interns and young graduates. The Academy program therefore aims to identify female kart drivers from an early age who wish to participate in Formula 1. This program will follow a comprehensive roadmap aimed at setting up racing, testing, physical or mental training to to support the progress of these talents. Funds will be allocated to the realization of this program to give female pilots the same chances of success as the greatest male champions trained by the Academy, going from karting to F4, then from regional championships to F3 and finally from F2 to F1. The FIA-launched W Series experience has not yet paid off.
Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine: “Our role as a Formula 1 team and Renault Group brand is to work to make our ecosystem more inclusive and to make diversity our strength. We are aware of the need for a profound change in our sport and industry so that all talents can express themselves in the future. With the launch of Rac(H)er, a long-term transformation program, we hope that all players in the field will join in, because only by uniting can we really move forward. This is where our real success will lie. †
Claire Mesnier, Vice President of Human Resources at Alpine: “With Rac(H)er we want to establish a real meritocracy and not just increase the statistics. We have designed a unique and sustainable program based on the commitment of all Alpine employees. The challenge is to promote reflection within the teams, but also to deploy concrete resources to move things forward within the company. We are committed to doing this in all areas of the business and leading by example. Half of Alpine’s board members are now women. Not because it’s a quota, but because they are the best in their field to take on this role and responsibilities. †
When will we see a female driver in Formula 1 again? Aside from the stereotypes to be challenged, the problem remains that of detection, channels and funding, considering how difficult it is to climb the ladder whether you are a woman or not.