In a historic move for Formula One, Aston Martin has given Jessica Hawkins the wheel of its AMR21, marking a huge step towards gender equality in the sport. This event not only showed Hawkins’ abilities, but also the sport’s changing attitude towards female racers.
Breaking the Mould
Jessica Hawkins, a 28-year-old British racer, has made history by becoming the first woman to test a Formula 1 car in nearly five years. This test was held at the Hungaroring, and Hawkins shared testing duties with reserve driver Felipe Drugovich. Notably, Hawkins is not a rookie on the racing circuit. She previously demonstrated her abilities in the all-female W Series and was a British karting champion. Her flexibility extends beyond the racecourse, as she’s also been a stunt driver for the James Bond film ‘No Time To Die’.
From Simulator to Real Track
Hawkins’ Aston Martin experience began in 2021, when she was signed as a driver ambassador. She had done a lot of practice on simulators before her real-track test. Her commitment and proficiency in the simulators convinced the crew of her potential. Aston Martin squad principal Mike Krack praised Hawkins’ preparation and quick adaptability to the AMR21’s intricacies.
A Dream Realised
This opportunity was nothing short of a dream come true for Hawkins. She thanked the AMF1 Team for their faith in her and the opportunity to prove herself. “It’s taken me every bit of blood, sweat, and tears to get here,” she said. Her test run data made her proud, and she stressed the unparalleled excitement of a Formula 1 car’s acceleration and braking. Beyond her personal achievements, Hawkins aims to inspire other women, encouraging them to relentlessly chase their dreams.
Paving the Way
While Hawkins’ test drive is crucial, it is also important to remember the women who paved the path. Tatiana Calderon was the last woman to test an F1 car in 2018 before Hawkins. Susie Wolff’s participation in a practise session in 2015, as well as Lella Lombardi’s Grand Prix debut in 1976, are both important mentions in the sport’s history.
A Future of Possibilities
The decision by Aston Martin to let Hawkins test the AMR21 reflects the shifting dynamics of Formula 1. With more teams recognising female racers’ ability and the sport becoming more open, the future promises limitless possibilities. The world of Formula 1 racing is likely to become even more thrilling as more barriers are breached.