Jessica Hawkins recently etched her name into the annals of Formula 1 history by embarking on an exhilarating journey at the Hungaroring in Budapest. In a momentous occasion that reverberated across the motorsport world, Hawkins had the privilege of becoming the first woman in half a decade to test the cutting-edge machinery of an Aston Martin Formula 1 car, specifically the 2021 model. On the 21st of September, the Hungaroring circuit bore witness to her remarkable feat as she completed 26 laps, underlining her unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo.
- Pivotal Moment at Hungaroring: The significance of Jessica Hawkins’ 26 laps in the Aston Martin 2021 car at the Hungaroring cannot be overstated. It serves as a pivotal moment in the ongoing narrative of gender inclusivity in the high-octane world of motorsport. Her presence on the track sent a resounding message that women have a rightful place in Formula 1, and it’s a message that reverberated far beyond the racetrack.
- Addressing Gender Disparity: Hawkins, in her own unique way, shed light on the “numbers game” that has long plagued the world of Formula 1. She stressed the importance of visibility in inspiring and nurturing female talent from the grassroots levels of the sport. Her journey exemplifies that barriers can be broken, and glass ceilings can be shattered when opportunities and encouragement are extended to all, regardless of gender.
- A Universal Message: Beyond breaking gender barriers, Jessica Hawkins’ advocacy extends to delivering a universal message. Her story is one of perseverance and determination, illustrating the significance of pursuing one’s passions and dreams relentlessly, irrespective of societal obstacles and traditional norms. She embodies the spirit of resilience that transcends gender boundaries and resonates with people from all walks of life.
The 28-year-old driver, who also holds the prestigious title of ambassador for Aston Martin, recognized the power of her platform. She harnessed it, particularly through her recent test drive, to amplify the discourse around opportunities and visibility for women in motorsports. Her actions speak volumes, encouraging others to embrace their aspirations without hesitation.
“I often get asked why there are no women in F1. There are probably a variety of reasons but one of the main reasons is a numbers game.
“If 5000 kids start karting across the world and only 10 of them are women, and people drop out along the way for many reasons like budget or they are not good enough, not passionate about it, or find other interests, by law of averages, of course you are not going to see a woman racing in F1.
“But what I think this will do is give visibility to the younger generation that we deserve a space and can do it, we are capable.
“I’m not just passionate about women in motorsport, but passionate about people being happy and following their dream.”
On the Sky Sports F1 Podcast, Jessica Hawkins expressed her views on this groundbreaking moment and its implications for the future of Formula 1. She emphasized that while progress has been made by a select few women in the sport, such as Susie Wolff’s participation in Grand Prix weekends and Lella Lombardi’s historic race starts in the 1970s, the road to achieving routine female representation in Formula 1 is still under construction. However, her unwavering optimism shines through as she believes in the potential for a brighter future, where women in Formula 1 are not the exception but the norm.
“Sometimes, I wish I was 20 years younger and starting out because I feel like there’s far more opportunity now, but I’m so happy that things have changed to give younger generations that opportunity.
“When I was a child, if I turned on the TV and watched F1, would I have come away thinking that women can drive F1 cars? Probably not. It’s all about visibility. If you can see it, you can be it.
“I’m proud to be driving female representation in motorsport forward. I hope that seeing me behind the wheel of an F1 car inspires future female racers and inspires people, male or female, to follow their dreams no matter what. Nothing should ever stop you from doing what you want to do, what you’re passionate about – what you love doing.
“There are still things I want to achieve. If I can make it easier for future generations, help break down barriers and pave the way for them, then I’ll be happy.”