Two races down, 12 more to go and Maya Weug knows it’s all about playing the long game as she looks to battle it out for the 2024 F1 ACADEMY title.

The Ferrari racer started as she means to go on in the opening round in Jeddah, securing P3 and P2 finishes and now sits second in the Drivers’ Standings, 11 points behind leader Abbi Pulling. Before the campaign unfolded, Weug made it no secret as to what she was wanting to achieve this year – being crowned Champion.

“Obviously to win! I think we have a good chance to fight at the front throughout the whole season,” said Weug. “We’ve been working really hard for it and I think the car is fast, PREMA are doing a good job. We just have to keep focusing on what we have to focus on and of course, my goal is to be fighting for the title until the last race.

“I think the most important part is to be consistent in a season. If you want to win, you have to be consistent, so I think that’s something I have to focus on to try and be there at the end of the year.”

Donning Ferrari’s iconic scarlet livery, Weug has the backing of one of the most prestigious names in motorsport behind her. The inaugural winner of the FIA Girls on Track Rising Stars programme, she made history as the first female driver inducted into the Scuderia Ferrari Driver Academy in January 2021.

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Now embarking on her fourth season as part of the SFDA, the Dutch racer is revelling in the chance to represent the Prancing Horse in F1 ACADEMY. Despite the demands that go hand-in-hand with such a monumental opportunity, Weug remains level-headed and is determined to put her full attention on giving it her all out on track.

“It’s crazy, it’s amazing,” she said. “I’m so honoured to have their colours on the car and on the suit, it’s just such a cool feeling. I remember when I wore the SFDA T-shirt for the first time, I just got goosebumps straightaway. I think everyone one day wants to drive a red car and to be driving it already this year is really cool. It looks so nice, I love it!”

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Weug added: “I guess we always have pressure when we’re racing. Outside there’s also pressure to perform, so there will always be pressure no matter where you race or where you are. Us as drivers, we also put a lot of pressure on ourselves because we want to do the best we can every time we go out on track.

“So of course there’s pressure, but you learn how to deal with it and forget about it when you’re on track. You try to focus on what you have to focus on, so it’s something you manage and it’s something we learn through our careers.”

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Her quest to bring home the 2024 title sees Weug partner up with reigning Drivers’ and Teams’ Champions PREMA Racing. Already settling in well to life with the Italian team, the Ferrari driver is valuing the new experiences presented to her this season, particularly getting to work alongside a female engineer for the first time.

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“I’ve known PREMA for a bit,” said Weug. “I’ve worked with them for a bit in F4 when I was there two years ago, and I know a couple of mechanics that I’ve worked with already. It’s a good atmosphere, it feels like a family already.

“It’s cool to be talking Italian with them and I really enjoy working with my new engineer Eimear. She’s a girl and I’ve never had a female engineer before, but we’re working really well together.”