Formula E: The future of female motorsports

Lucy Buchholz with  Julia Pallé
Lucy Buchholz with Julia Pallé
March8 Editor Lucy Buchholz flew to the German capital for the Berlin E-Prix to find out more about the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship

It’s hard not to enjoy motorsport. Whether you’re watching from the grandstand or the comfort of your own home, you’ll feel a contagious buzz that fills you with adrenaline, as you cheer for your favourite driver. 

Although motorsports is one of the only sports permitting men and women to compete as equals, only 1.5% of total licensees recorded in the world are women. But Formula E are on a mission to change this, by introducing the Girls on Track programme, supported by Formula E's long time partner ABB.

What is the FIA Girls on Track programme?

FIA Girls on Track provides girls aged between 8 to 18 years old with the opportunity to explore career options available to them in the motorsport industry. The programme was created to show girls from a diverse social background that motorsport is a friendly environment, with a wide range of career opportunities – which are not solely limited to boys and men.

“Girls can be anything in the motorsport industry – drivers, engineers, mechanics, presenters, press officers – so we want to break the perception that these careers are just for men,” Julia Pallé, Sustainability Director at Formula E says. “Motorsport has a reputation for not being a very accessible sport, but the Girls on Track programme wants to change that, by giving girls the opportunity to learn and discover new skills.”

Through the programme, girls are exposed to a number of workshops teaching them about the various roles in motorsport. At the Berlin E-Prix, girls could undertake various challenges, such as building mini cars, learning how to change a tyre and coding-based activities. There was also a designated track for girls to race around in go-karts, to give a real race-driver experience.

“Girls need role models, and the Girls on Track programme provides that by allowing the girls to meet women who are currently holding those positions,” Julia continues. “We’re trying to show girls that it’s just about having the right brain – it doesn’t take anything else. Women who want to lead a career in the motorsport industry just need to be motivated and really stubborn.”

Julia Pallé

“At Formula E, it’s very important for us to encourage more girls to join the motorsport industry, beyond just the two people from each team that drive the cars,” Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle says. “Yes, we want more female drivers, but we also want more female mechanics, engineers, computer scientists, and so on. Girls on Track is all about that.

“It’s proven to be a really powerful programme, and when you see the emotion from these young girls and their families, it’s pretty cool and something Formula E is really proud to be involved with.”

What is Formula E?

The idea of a single-seater motorsport championship for electric cars started back in 2011, when Founder Alejandro Agag and FIA President Jean Todt noted the idea on the back of a napkin. Now, Formula E has become the fastest-growing motorsport series on the planet. 

The founding mission of Formula E was for some of the world’s best drivers and teams to race through the streets of iconic cities in all-electric cars. Formula E has proudly been net-zero from day one, and is paving the way for a cleaner, better future for motorsport by putting sustainability at the heart of everything they do.

First debuting in the grounds of Beijing’s Olympic Park in 2014, Formula E has grown to become a family-friendly entertainment brand with motorsport at its heart. Now in Season 8, Formula E has 12 teams and 24 drivers on the grid and the championship has become a destination for the world's best motorsport teams and racing talent. In 2023, we can look forward to the introduction of Gen3 - the fastest Formula E car yet.


Catch-up on all the information as the series builds up to the 2022 London E-Prix, which returns this year on 30 & 31 July: https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/championship/race-calendar/2021-2022/london

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