Aston Martin driver shatters gender barrier

Aston Martin have been on the resurgence in 2023, but their form has dropped off considerably in recent races.

Aston Martin ambassador and former W Series driver Jessica Hawkins has etched her name into the annals of Formula 1 history by becoming the first woman in five years to complete a test drive in the world of elite racing.

Hawkins, 28, has been an esteemed brand ambassador for Aston Martin since the announcement that she would represent the team as one of the drivers in the upcoming all-female F1 Academy series set to debut next year. 

Her remarkable achievement marks a significant milestone, as the last woman to pilot a current-spec Formula 1 car was former Alfa Romeo test driver Tatiana Calderon, who participated in a filming day with a Sauber C37 in Mexico back in 2018.

During her momentous test drive, Hawkins had the opportunity to commandeer last year’s AMR21, a car that has seen regular action under the control of Aston Martin’s development driver, Felipe Drugovich. 

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Over the course of 26 thrilling laps around the Hungaroring, she seized the opportunity to experience the exhilaration and precision of Formula 1 machinery.

Eagerly reflecting on her historic accomplishment, an elated Hawkins described it as “a dream come true” and expressed her hope that it would serve as inspiration for greater female involvement in the future of motorsport. 

She conveyed her gratitude, saying, “I want to say a big thank you to everyone at AMF1 Team for having the trust in me, believing in me, and for giving me this opportunity. 

It’s taken me every bit of blood, sweat, and tears to get here. 

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“When I first heard it might be a possibility, I could hardly believe it. 

“I’ve had to keep it secret for months now – which was pretty hard! 

“It’s been absolutely worth it, and it’s given me really valuable insight.”

She also emphasised the unparalleled nature of the experience, stating, “Nothing will compare to the acceleration and braking of an F1 car and, having looked at the data, I’m really proud of my performance. 

“Getting to drive the AMR21 has been a dream come true for me, and one I’ve been ready to fulfill for a long time. 

“I’ll keep pushing for more and, in the process, I want to inspire other women and let them know they should follow their dream, no matter what it is.”

In the world of Formula 1, meeting and exceeding expectations in a high-performance racing machine is the hallmark of a successful test. 

Both Aston Martin’s Team Principal, Mike Krack, and Evolution Programme Director, Robert Sattler, expressed their admiration for Hawkins’s remarkable preparation and performance during the test.

“We were really impressed by Jessica’s preparation for the test,” Krack stated. 

“She worked incredibly hard with our simulator team, and that made it an easy decision to put her in the AMR21.”

Sattler echoed this sentiment, asserting, “Jessica excelled in her first F1 test. 

“After the installation lap, we had a small delay as the circuit was hit by heavy rain. 

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“That resulted in a green track, and on her first proper run, there were still some damp patches. 

“After three runs, the track had dried, and she was already matching the reference lap speeds. 

“Overall, Jessica executed an excellent test program with a very professional attitude, and we hope to see her in the car again soon.”