Alpine F1 launches program to ‘demystify’ women in Formula 1

Alpine, owned by Renault, launched a program on Thursday to increase the number of women in its Formula 1 team and help female drivers rise to the top for the first time in half a century.

Only two women have started a Formula 1 race since the start of the world championship in 1950, and the last was the late Italian Lella Lombardi in 1976.

Managing Director Laurent Rossi said Reuters the idea was to transform Alpine as a sports car manufacturer and as a team and to “bust the myths” by giving women the same opportunities as men.

“We want to make sure that we give access to all jobs, to all opportunities at Alpine, to women,” he said, adding that the company will soon have women in half of the executive committee.

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“By not having a more balanced representation of women in the workforce, I’m depriving Alpine and myself of 50% of the talent there… I see it as I’m missing half of my team,” he said. -he adds.

The goal is to increase the percentage of women working for the company to 30% within five years from the current level of 12%.

Only 10% of the British F1 squad are women.

The funded race development programme, which will span eight years, will take young girls down the path of karting and provide training and support that was previously lacking.

“The intention is to debunk all the myths that women can’t, because they’re not suited, because they don’t have role models, because the jobs we offer are not for women,” Rossi said.

“We want to debunk all of these myths one by one and make sure that with every opportunity offered at Alpine, there is always an equal chance for women to get the job because they can.”

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Alpine said it would use research conducted by the Paris Brain Institute to “deconstruct stereotypes” and remove “presumed pseudo-scientific barriers” for female runners in a male-dominated sport.

“Fernando Alonso is 41 years old (as of July) and he drives a Formula 1 car. I think Fernando Alonso at 41 is not as strong as a perfectly fit female athlete at 30,” Rossi said, citing the example of female fighter jet pilots and astronauts. .

“You can drive a Formula 1 car with the right preparation and that’s what we intend to do. We want to prepare women the same way men are prepared.”

The all-female W Series was launched in 2019 to help women rise through the motorsport ladder to F1, but inaugural champion Jamie Chadwick is still competing in the championship, having so far failed to take a step forward.

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