Formula Three organisers have announced that W Series’ Nerea Marti and Irina Sidorkova will both participate in a F3 test on 9 November at Magny-Cours, France.
Marti and Sidorkova are members of W Academy and both enjoyed positive seasons as Marti finished fourth with one podium plus seven other points-finishes in eight races in 2021.
Sidorkova meanwhile finished ninth in the standings despite missing three races due to a injury in Qualifying at Spa Francorchamps and visa issues preventing her from racing in USA.
F3 CEO, Bruno Michel speaking on this announcement iterated that diversity is “very important” for F3 with a desire to see more female drivers follow in the footsteps of Tatiana Calderon and Sophia Floersch who have raced in the third-tier in recent seasons.
Michel also spoke of his desire to create a “systematic” pathway for female drivers to reach F1 with two-time W Series champion, Jamie Chadwick currently part of Williams’ Driver Academy.
This development therefore marks a huge step in that direction to creating a strong pathway, with Michel adding: “One way to achieve this is to create connections between our categories, which are the closest to F1, and racing programmes that promote female drivers, with the ultimate goal to prepare them for the pinnacle of motorsport.”
Explaining what he hopes that Marti and Sidorkova can achieve in this test, Michel added: “With this test, we want Nerea and Irina to familiarise themselves with F3, the car, and how we work. It will not be about performance, but about understanding the demands of the category.
“It will be a first taste of what to expect, as we hope they will progress to our championship in the near future.”
Michel went on to praise W Series CEO, Catherine Bond Muir for her collaboration helping to create a bridge between W Series and F3, with both CEOs agreeing that Marti and Sidorkova were “in the best age-range to eventually join the single-seater pyramid, so we selected them for this test session.”
It has been confirmed that discussions are underway about future collaborations to ensure that this test isn’t simply an “one-off” and instead forms the start of a stronger link between different single-seater categories.
Bond Muir meanwhile commented that this test opportunity “is proof that we are succeeding” in our mission to ensure that W Series create a pathway for female racing drivers to progress up the single-seater ladder.
Explaining the decision to reward Sidorkova and Marti with this F3 test, Bond Muir said: “We launched the W Series Academy this season to provide young drivers with the extra coaching and mentoring they need to fulfil their potential.
“Both Irina and Nerea have already repaid that faith by putting in some eye-catching performances throughout the year and impressing all of us with their professionalism on and off the track.
“The F3 test is the natural next step for them both. I would like to thank F3 for providing this excellent opportunity which I am sure our two promising young drivers will make the most of.”
F3 Links Up With Iron Dames Programme
F3 will also link up with Iron Dames programme and offer Maya Weug and Doraine Pin F3 tests on 10 November at Magny-Cours France.
Both drivers aged 17 years-old are integrated with Iron Dames programme with Weug also the first female member of Ferrari Driver Academy, and this test will represent a chance for both drivers to discover more about F3 cars and the environment of the series.
Explaining why Weug and Pin have been chosen for the test, Michel said: “Maya and Doriane are both very young, and while they climb their learning curve in motorsports, it is important for us to give them this opportunity now to help them build towards the future of their careers, which could lead to our Championship.
“They will get this first taste of the car at Magny-Cours, and they will discover the category. Hopefully, it will be a first step in the right direction.”
Iron Dames Project Leader, Deborah Mayer meanwhile hailed this opportunity as a “great milestone” for promotion of female drivers in motorsport and represents what the Iron Dames programme is designed to do in terms of creating motorsport opportunities for female drivers.
On what Weug and Pin can expect from this test, Mayer said: “This experience will be important in demonstrating to Maya and Doriane what is involved in the next level of racing, and I’d like to thank FIA F3 for offering this amazing opportunity for both drivers.
“These will be the fastest cars they have ever driven until now, and it will help prepare them for climbing to the next stages of their careers.”