Proudly showcasing the Prancing Horse in F1 ACADEMY this season, Ferrari’s Maya Weug has had plenty of iconic drivers racing in scarlet to look up to from an early age.

Watching the series’ 2023 Champion Marta García in action growing up, the Dutch driver talks us through how she hopes to follow in her footsteps this season and picks out those who’ve inspired her passion for motorsport.


“When I was little, we started at the same kart track in Spain. She was obviously a couple of years older than me, so she was my reference, my idol and who I looked up to when I was younger because she was the only other girl that I had in my vision.

“In the end, I followed her path until I came into the Scuderia Ferrari Driver Academy. When I started karting, she was already in the Spanish Championships and then I went to the Spanish Champions and did the same as her. Then she moved to international racing and I moved to international karting, so it was like following her steps. It’s pretty cool because I had someone to look up to when I was seven years old.

“I’ve not seen her at the PREMA Racing factory yet (García has graduated to the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine with the same team), but I guess we will see each other around. She won last year, so I’ll try to replicate that.”

Weug scored two podiums across Round 1 in Jeddah achieving P3 in Race 1 and P2 in Race 2
Weug scored two podiums across Round 1 in Jeddah, achieving P3 in Race 1 and P2 in Race 2


“Charles and Carlos, I will take both in one because I see them quite often at Maranello. It’s just such an inspiration to see how they work and it’s where you want to be. It’s what your dream is and what your goal is. To see them training, in the gym or wherever around, it’s good to see the work and it’s where you want to get to one day.

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“I’ve had a chance to talk to Charles and Carlos, I see them often in the gym or around Fiorano. They’re always very busy, so they don’t have a lot of time. But they’re super nice guys and they try to make time for us if they can. It’s more for us to look at how well they do on track and how they act off track and in the team. It’s really cool to see how they work together within the team and how professional they are, so it’s really nice to be in that environment.

“It’s great to have someone who did the same path as you’re trying to follow. It just shows that the SFDA helps us a lot as drivers and helps us progress quicker, so it’s great to be a part of it.”

Weug and Leclerc got the chance to have a quick chat ahead of the first Qualifying session of the 2024 campaign
Weug and Leclerc got the chance to have a quick chat ahead of the first Qualifying session of the 2024 campaign


“When I was very little, I would watch F1 at the kart tracks on Sundays. It was Fernando Alonso at that time and I was driving in Spain, so he was the big one (to look up to) and Ferrari of course. So, when I was growing up that was who I really liked as well.

“(Support for Fernando) was quite big at that time and it was quite cool to be living in Spain and seeing it. I remember at the Spanish Championships, there was a Ferrari truck with a simulator there, so we would always go with the drivers and have some fun on the sim. I have that memory still!

“At that point, when you’re so young, you don’t realise you’re going to be in F1 ACADEMY. It’s more like watching it for fun, but you don’t realise how the big dream can actually get so close. I was just watching F1 with the family or with karting friends at the track, but it was always fun.”