The penultimate round of the F1 Academy season kicks off in Paul Ricard this week as the drivers tackle the iconic French Circuit. With just two rounds left to go, everything is still to be decided with positions up for grabs across the standings.
At the front of the pack is Spaniard Marta García, who has established a healthy lead of 33 points over her nearest rival Hamda Al Qubaisi.
After a successful weekend for PREMA Racing in their home race in Monza, the gap at the top of the Teams’ Standings narrowed to just 26 points, with Dutch outfit MP Motorsport still in the lead. With 147 points on offer per team per weekend, all the teams still have a chance to win it.
F1 Academy now has seven different winners and eleven different podium sitters across the season so far.
Across the 15 testing sessions that the drivers have taken part in at Le Castellet this year, Rodin Carlin’s Abbi Pulling has topped seven of the sessions.
On the Grid – Hamda Al Qubaisi, MP Motorsport
“Unfortunately, Monza didn’t go as planned – the speed was there but I tried to recover in the races a bit too much and just made mistakes. But I think it’s a really big learning curve for me and the aim is to trust in my potential going into Paul Ricard.”
On the Grid – Léna Bühler, ART Grand Prix
“I feel quite good with the progress we have made with the team and we are working a lot to make it competitive. I just enjoy driving every time I go in the car, trying to do my best for me and the team. I'm still thinking I can win the series and am giving everything to do it. Circuit Paul Ricard is a nice track. It’s a technical track and if we compare our first test here, we have made a good progression working on the car.”
Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director
“The penultimate round of the inaugural F1 Academy will take place at Le Castellet in France. The Paul Ricard circuit is a favoured testing venue for many championships as it can be run in several different configurations, providing a wide variety of challenges. The F1 Academy is no exception, with two tests already held there: most recently a couple of weeks ago. This means that drivers will now be able to check the progress made in terms of setup and tyre management in competitive conditions, without needing extra time to get used to the track.
“One factor that could be key to tyre management is the heat, with summer temperatures potentially very high in southern France at this time of year. At the same time, winds are also a characteristic of Le Castellet, adding another variable. This weekend concludes an extremely busy start to the season with six weekends on six very different circuits; Spielberg, Valencia, Barcelona, Zandvoort, Monza, and now Le Castellet: the European leg of the F1 Academy calendar. The seventh and final round will be held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin from 20-22 October, during the United States Grand Prix weekend.”