Britain’s Jessica Hawkins became the first female in almost five years to drive a modern Formula One car during a recent test in Budapest.
The Aston Martin ambassador completed 26 laps in the Silverstone team’s 2021 machinery at the Hungaroring last Thursday.
Hawkins, who recorded a best finish of second in 19 appearances in the W Series - the now-defunct all-female category - said: “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. When I first heard it might be a possibility, I could hardly believe it.
“I’ve had to keep it secret for months now - which was pretty hard. It’s been absolutely worth it and it’s given me really valuable insight.”
Hawkins’ F1 appearance is the first meaningful one by a female driver since Colombian Tatiana Calderon took part in a number of tests for Alfa Romeo in 2018.
It has been 47 years since a female - the Italian Lella Lombardi - took part in an F1 race, and eight years since Susie Wolff, who is married to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, competed in a Grand Prix practice session. The F1 Academy, a women-only feeder series, was launched by the grid’s bosses this year.
Hawkins, 28, added: “Nothing will compare to the acceleration and braking of a Formula One car and, having looked at the data, I’m really proud of my performance.
“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.”
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