A blood red jumpsuit emblazoned with a prancing horse now dresses her most of the time. An iconic garment that materializes “a dream come true”, sums up its young owner from his residence in Italy. This Ferrari-colored outfit is that of Maya Weug, 16, who was behind a discreet revolution in motorsport by becoming the very first woman driver to have joined the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA), the structure responsible to train the future drivers of the Formula 1 team of the famous Scuderia. Born to a Dutch father and a Belgian mother, Maya grew up in Spain. At 7, she began to take a very close interest in her daddy’s hobby: karting. “That’s where my vocation comes from,” says Maya.
A one-year contract in Formula 4
Since then, she has never left the circuits and is now preparing to face her first single-seater season, competing in one of the Formula 4 national championships. Formula 1 ″, specifies Mattia Binotto, director of Scuderia Ferrari. “A moment that will make a mark”: this is how the manager described the integration of the young driver into the team, with a one-year contract. “The arrival of Maya is a testament to the Scuderia’s desire to make motorsport more and more inclusive, in keeping with the hashtag supported by the entire Formula 1 community, #weraceasone,” he adds. he.
The young girl’s speech rate is rapid, as is her journey. Her short and already very professional answers hide a certain uneasiness in being the center of attention, but not her determination despite her youthful blonde ponytail, pulled back nicely. The only real moments of letting go come when she talks about the “incredible feeling” that overwhelms her when she wins a race and the unfailing support of her family in her career choices. How was she spotted? Thanks to the Girls on Track – Rising Stars program, sponsored by the International Automobile Federation (FIA). An international competition for teenagers between 14 and 16, organized by the “Women in Motorsport” commission. A commission headed by a reference: Michèle Mouton who remains the only woman to have won rallies in the world championship.
Congratulated by Jean Todt, President of the FIA
Concretely, a first selection of 20 drivers from 14 different countries was evaluated at the Castellet circuit (Var), and four of them were selected to participate in the final event at that of Fiorano in Italy. Among these young girls: the French Doriane Pin. At stake: the opportunity to become the first woman to join the Ferrari Driver Academy, with a seat in Formula 4 for 2021. It is Maya who stands out. “Maya fully deserves her place in the FDA and I am sure she will demonstrate even more talent and determination to succeed than in the screening, training and assessment process. The fact that she is the very first student of the Ferrari Driver Academy, spotted thanks to our program, is a huge satisfaction ”, rejoices Michèle Mouton. Jean Todt, President of the FIA, even cracked an enthusiastic tweet to the young girl: “Congratulations to the Dutch-Belgian driver Maya Weug. At only 16, she has already achieved many successes in national and international karting. The FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars program is fundamental to our commitment to supporting gender diversity in our sport. “
Theoretically mixed discipline, it is an understatement to say that women are under-represented. For example, the last female driver to have taken the start of a Grand Prix was the Italian Lella Lombardi, in 1976. Will Maya be next? “I’m going step by step. I know there will be a long way to go to Formula 1, but I am in good hands. But yes, it is clear that I dream of it and I will do everything to achieve this goal, ”she insists with great confidence. As for her status as a pioneer, she does not fear it and it is even “an honor to be a model role”. “Being a source of inspiration for other young women who want to embark on the race where there are so few of us is very important to me. “As for the personality that inspires her, she currently quotes Charles Leclerc. The Monegasque racing driver entered in Formula 1, also within the Scuderia Ferrari.
The only woman in the midst of men, we hardly dare ask her if they have not seen her land with curiosity. We sensed the answer. She shrugs her shoulders slightly and sweeps with the back of her hand: “I’ve been used to it since I was little, when I was karting. But once we put on our helmets, there are no differences. We are racing drivers who compete on a track to win. “
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr