Doriane Pin says the time was right to make the move over from endurance to open-wheel racing, as she plans to hunt down the 2024 F1 Academy title and follow her dream path towards Formula 1.

Heralded as one of motorsport’s brightest young stars, Pin’s reputation precedes her. At only 20-years-old, she’s blitzed her way to glory in the Ferrari Challenge Europe Series, winning nine out of the 14 races, and made her mark on the World Endurance Championship in the LMP2 category, as the first woman to win the ‘Revelation of the Year’ Award.

Combining rapid speed and a measured approach, she’s already scored victories in her first single seater campaign in the Formula 4 South East Asian and UAE Championships.

Tipped to be one of the 2024 season’s leading contenders, the French driver is eager to seize the most out of a long-awaited new chapter in her racing journey.

“I feel great, I’m happy to be part of the series,” said Pin. “In addition to F4 UAE that I did in January and February, it’s a good series to learn in and I’m happy to do the step to single seaters after three years in endurance. It’s a category that I always wanted to be in, and I have this chance now with Mercedes and Iron Dames, so I’m really happy about that.

“Of course, I always had the dream of Formula 1 in my head since I was four years old. It’s always been my target and I think learning in endurance is not too bad. It has really interesting categories and championships, so I’m happy and feel ready to do that step now.”

As she settles in well to her new environment, Pin gave her assessment of what she needs to do this year and has high hopes that trips to the top step of the podium won’t be far away.

“Always to fight for the top, to win, to win the title is the obvious target for the year,” she said. “I think we prepare as much as possible to be ready for it. The level is high, we all know it and it will be interesting. We have to be consistent and fast the whole year at every track, even if I don’t know most of them. It’s a super interesting series and of course, I will do my best to achieve it.”

Pin quickly got to grips with the Jeddah Corniche Circuit during pre-season testing
Pin quickly got to grips with the Jeddah Corniche Circuit during pre-season testing

Her arrival to the field comes with the backing of the Mercedes F1 Team, with her joining reigning Drivers’ and Teams’ Champions PREMA Racing.

“Honestly, I felt very honoured about that,” Pin responded when asked about joining the Mercedes Junior Academy. “Representing Mercedes, they are one of the most successful teams in Formula 1 and I think I can learn a lot from them. I’m really happy with all the work that we’ve started together and I’m looking forward to achieving some goals together.”

Another crucial partner in Pin’s career so far has been the Iron Dames project, a platform with the goal of promoting inclusivity for women in the sport, which has achieved history-making victories with all-female line ups across WEC, European Le Mans Series and GT racing.

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Reflecting on the impact the Iron Dames has had on her since she first began working with them three years ago, she said: “It’s a beautiful project to bring more women into motorsport – not only drivers, but mechanics, engineers, managers. It’s super interesting and I’m so happy because I’ve represented the project since 2021 and we’ve achieved so many things together.

“I grew so much thanks to them and I’m happy to make that step into single seaters with them also because they give me always the opportunity and the trust. It’s always been a family for me, so I’m really proud to be in that project.”

Although some elements of racecraft remain the same, Pin recognises that she’ll need to broaden her skillset to adapt to her new machinery. Dealing with unfamiliar venues, each with their own characteristics to manage, she noted how valuable her track time over the winter break has been to set the foundations for success this season.

“Single seaters are very different than what I drove before,” Pin explained. “GTs are heavier, the car is super heavy and also in LMP2, there is a bit more downforce but it’s heavier as well. So, the driving style is completely different,” she explained.

“F4 South East Asia and UAE helped me to develop my skills, my technique with that car that is very technical with a very low downforce. It’s interesting and in UAE especially, there is a good field with 35 cars on track. We have plenty of guys to compare to, so it was good to prepare for this year.”