Aston Martin's Jess Hawkins breaks barriers as first woman to drive F1 car in five years
Posted : 26 September 2023
Aston Martin's Jess Hawkins made history in Budapest last week as the first woman in nearly five years to drive a contemporary Formula One car.
As an ambassadorial figure for Aston Martin, stunt driver Hawkins completed 26 laps in the team's 2021 car, the AMR21, at Hungary's Hungaroring circuit, which hosts the annual Hungarian Grand Prix.
Hawkins, 28, conducts simulator work at Aston Martin's Silverstone factory as part of her role. During a private test event, she shared driving duties with Aston Martin reserve driver Felipe Drugovich, the reigning Formula 2 champion.
While Hawkins doesn't possess the superlicence points required for a full-time F1 seat, her appearance in the car is seen as offering "valuable perspective as she prepares to support the team's entry into the all-female F1 Academy series in 2024." The F1 Academy, established this year, aims to create more opportunities for young women to progress through motorsport.
The last female driver to test a modern F1 car was Tatiana Calderon of Colombia in 2018 before the Mexican Grand Prix. Jamie Chadwick has also conducted tests of Williams' 2021 cars at demo events.
For female participation in actual F1 events, you have to look back to Susie Wolff, who completed her fourth and final practice appearance for Williams at the 2015 British Grand Prix. Going even further, it takes you five decades back to the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix for the last female driver, Lella Lombardi, to participate in an F1 race.
Hawkins expressed her gratitude, saying, "I want to say a big thank you to everyone at AMF1 Team for having the trust in me, believing in me, and for giving me this opportunity. It's taken me every bit of blood, sweat, and tears to get here...Getting to drive the AMR21 has been a dream come true for me, and one I've been ready to fulfill for a long time. I'll keep pushing for more and, in the process, I want to inspire other women and let them know they should follow their dream no matter what it is."