In a groundbreaking moment for women in motorsports, Jessica Hawkins, Aston Martin’s driver ambassador, achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first woman since 2018 to undergo a Formula 1 car test.
Since her induction into the Aston Martin team in 2021, Jessica Hawkins embarked on a rigorous journey, which began in the realm of simulator preparations. Her unwavering dedication and commitment to her craft ultimately led her to the historic testing of the team’s 2021 Formula 1 car at the Hungaroring, a momentous occasion that unfolded last Thursday.
Amidst the backdrop of challenging weather conditions, including intermittent heavy rain, Jessica Hawkins impressively managed to complete a total of 26 laps. Her resilience and skill on the track demonstrated not only her prowess as a driver but also her ability to navigate adverse circumstances.
Aston Martin officials, including evolution program director Robert Sattler and team principal Mike Krack, were quick to laud Jessica Hawkins for her exceptional performance during the test. Their praise not only recognizes her individual achievements but also hints at the potential for future opportunities within the sport.
Jessica Hawkins’ journey with Aston Martin commenced in 2021, marking a pivotal moment in her career. Her tireless efforts in the simulator served as the foundation upon which her ambitions in Formula 1 were built. The culmination of this dream occurred at the iconic Hungaroring circuit, where she shared driving duties with the team’s test and reserve driver, Felipe Drugovich.
Despite the unpredictability of the weather, including sporadic downpours that disrupted the testing schedule, Jessica Hawkins’ determination shone brightly as she adeptly handled the AMR21 Formula 1 car. Her 26 laps around the circuit were not just a testament to her skill but also a beacon of hope for aspiring female drivers in the sport.
Expressing her elation at this momentous achievement, Jessica Hawkins shared her thoughts in a press release from the Aston Martin team:
“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. 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. Nothing will compare to the acceleration and braking of a Formula One 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 fulfil 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.”
Robert Sattler, Aston Martin’s evolution program director, acknowledged the demanding conditions during Jessica Hawkins’ debut in a Formula 1 car:
“Jessica excelled in her first F1 test. After the installation lap we had a small delay as the circuit was hit by heavy rain. That resulted in a green track and on her first proper run there were still some damp patches in a few corners.
“Jessica progressively built up speed on a tricky track while managing flawlessly the complexity of the AMR21 car. Her feedback was precise and correlated with our data. After three runs, the track had dried and she was already matching the reference lap speeds.
“Overall, Jessica executed an excellent test programme with a very professional attitude and we hope to see her in the car again soon.”
Team principal Mike Krack echoed these sentiments, attributing the decision to let Jessica Hawkins test the AMR21 to her meticulous preparation and unwavering dedication in the simulator. He remarked: