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Female Drivers Poised for Formula E Test in Riyadh

Selection of women drivers set to take part in Formula E post-event test in Saudi Arabia…

Photo: Formula E

A selection of female drivers are set to feature in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship’s official rookie test next season, which will be moved to Riyadh.

E-racing365 has learned that the test, which was held the day following the Marrakesh E-Prix this year, is likely to take place on Mon. Dec. 17 in the Saudi capital, with at least five women set to be at the wheel of Gen 2 cars.

It comes as part of Saudi Arabia’s ‘Vision 2030’ initiative, which has recently seen women now permitted to drive cars on the country’s roads for the first time.

Formula E Holdings has been active in recent weeks with teams to ensure that chances are given to some of the top female racing talent, according to series founder and CEO Alejandro Agag.

“It is coming together and we want females in the test to showcase racing these cars competitively on a track in Saudi,” he told e-racing365.

“That is also what the Saudi leadership wants to do, to use Formula E to continue their promotion of the big change that the country has undergone and is going through.

“We are really happy to be part of the change and having woman racing these cars is going to be a key part of this.”

Asked whether a female driver could take part in the inaugural Riyadh E-Prix in December, Agag indicated that no extra pressure will come from the series.

Simona de Silverstro (pictured above with Agag), Michela Cerruti and Katherine Legge have been the only women to race in the all-electric series to date.

“I think that is on the teams,” said Agag. “I don’t currently have any indication that a team is planning to hire a female driver for next season, but you know it is up to the teams, so maybe it could happen.”

Additional opportunities for women are believed to be in the mix for the new Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, which will likely be on the support bill for Formula E in Riyadh.

E-racing365 understands that at least two additional female drivers are likely to join Legge, who was announced last week as the first confirmed driver for the single-make series.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Chris

    July 16, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    I’d definitely like to see some women back in the championship. Hopefully winning races and championships eventually.

  2. RUN PR

    July 17, 2018 at 6:10 am

    It seems appropriate that such a forward thinking series is supportive of opportunities for drivers – women, rookies etc.

    As opposed to the infamous Mr Ecclestone who had the following quotes “You know I’ve got one of those wonderful ideas…women should be dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances,”

    There is a growing presence of women in all aspects of motorsport including engineers, mechanics and of course the new Venturi boss.

  3. Old Trombone

    July 17, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Aurora Straus
    Christina Nielsen
    Kat Legge
    Renee Gracie
    Dominique Van Wieringen
    Tatiana Calderon
    Lucile Cypriano
    Sophia Flörsch
    Vivien Keszthelyi
    Alisha Abdullah
    Laleh Seddigh (her appearance would probably net Agag the Nobel Peace Prize)
    Beitske Visser (she has lots of electric racing experience, currently working with a university on this tech)
    Magda Andersson
    Jamie Chadwick
    Abbie Eaton
    Alice Powell
    Kayli Barker
    Nicole Behar
    Natalie Decker
    Samantha Tan
    Danica Patrick
    WOW! So many fast drivers on this list who have major results at major international races. Surely one is fast enough? I mean, it’s not as if they have a limitation as a class, right?

    Testing, “showcasing”, separate-but-equal, right?

    These women above are fast and professional, and several of them are faster than currently contracted FE drivers with seatbelt-clasp issues. Until some of them get RACE seats, it’s all talk. Binders full of women ain’t enough. Women who are literally faster than men who have race seats is not good enough. When the lights go out in Riyadh, unless women are among the men with the same chance to win, then this is just PR in the same way as when Freud’s nephew Bernays invented PR in the 1920’s by making cancer-sticks just as stylish for women as for men. (Go see “The Century of the Self” by Adam Curtis).

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