Susie Wolff will be the Managing Director of the F1 Academy, heading up the development of young women drivers and finding a route through the junior categories in the Formula 1 pyramid. Along with General Manager of F1 Academy Bruno Michel, Wolff will also report directly to Formula 1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali.
Wolff has plenty of motorsport experience both as a driver and team leader. She has been a strong advocate for women in motorsport, including spearheading Dare To Be Different, an initiative designed to increase participation and representation of women in the sport.
Stints as an F1 Development Driver with Williams and racing in Formula Renault as well as DTM means she has experience in racing on track as well as off it. Her time as Team Principal of the VENTURI Formula E operation and, most recently, CEO of the team included overseeing the team’s highest finish in the Championship, achieving P2 last season.
Looking at the role she will play in the F1 Academy, Wolff said that she was excited at the prospect of helping to develop the next generation of women in motorsport.
“The F1 Academy presents an opportunity to promote genuine change in our industry by creating the best possible structure to find and nurture female talent on their journey to the elite levels of motorsport, both on and off the racetrack. There is a lot of work to be done but there is also a clear determination to get this right.
“In doing so, I believe the F1 Academy can represent something beyond racing. It can inspire women around the world to follow their dreams and realise that with talent, passion and determination, there is no limit to what they can achieve. This is also the start of an important new chapter in my career, combining the experience I have developed so far with my passion for diversity and empowerment, so I would like to thank Stefano for entrusting me with a role that means as much to me personally as it does professionally.”
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said Wolff would be hugely beneficial to the series and that her prior experience in motorsport would be valuable to all of the drivers racing this year.
“It is fantastic news that Susie Wolff is joining the F1 Academy as Managing Director. Susie is an incredible person who understands what it takes to reach the highest levels of motorsport, both as a driver and Team Principal. She has a wealth of experience and first hand knowledge that will be of huge benefit to all of us and the drivers who are on their journey to progress through the racing pyramid . We are committed to maximising the opportunities in our sport for anyone to reach their true potential and achieve their dreams and we believe F1 Academy is a very important part of our plans to be a more diverse and inclusive sport."
General Manager of F1 Academy Bruno Michel added that Wolff’s appointment was a strong statement and that she would play a pivotal role in the shaping of F1 Academy.
“It is great news for the F1 Academy to have Susie joining us ahead of the start of our first season. She will be invaluable to me and my team as well as all of the drivers. We can’t wait to get started on the track with this exciting new chapter that will provide another route into the pyramid system for talented female drivers.
“I am of the strong view that if we give these drivers the same amount of time and experience as any other driver, they can make their way to higher levels in our sport. Our aim is to prepare the drivers that come into the Academy to be ready to progress to the next category within the next three years and we hope their skill and drive will inspire others to follow this path."