In a remarkable announcement, Williams Racing has unveiled its newest addition to the 2024 Formula 1 Academy grid – the promising 17-year-old American driver, Lia Block. This revelation comes as she officially becomes a part of the illustrious Williams Driver Academy Programme. What makes this announcement even more poignant is the fact that Lia Block is the daughter of the late motorsport legend, Ken Block, who tragically lost his life in a snowmobile accident earlier this year.
Lia Block’s journey into the world of motorsport has been nothing short of extraordinary. Despite her tender age, she has managed to carve a niche for herself across various motorsport disciplines, showcasing her prodigious talent and undeniable passion. Her impressive repertoire includes stints in Rally, Extreme E, and Rallycross, where she has consistently demonstrated her prowess behind the wheel.
One of the most notable highlights of Lia Block’s burgeoning career is her recent triumph as the youngest American Rally Association Champion. This remarkable feat was achieved when she secured victory in the highly competitive Open Two-Wheel Drive class earlier this year. Her ability to not only compete but excel at such a high level at such a young age speaks volumes about her dedication, skills, and determination.
As Lia Block embarks on her Formula 1 journey with Williams Racing, the motorsport world eagerly anticipates the unfolding of a new chapter in her remarkable career. With the legacy of her father, Ken Block, serving as a source of inspiration and motivation, there is no doubt that Lia Block’s presence on the Formula 1 grid will be closely watched by fans, pundits, and fellow competitors alike. The Williams Driver Academy Programme has undoubtedly found a promising talent in Lia Block, and her addition to the team signifies the beginning of an exciting era for both Williams Racing and Formula 1 as a whole.
Block is set to embark on her debut season in open-wheel racing with ART Grand Prix in the F1 Academy, sharing the journey with McLaren junior driver Bianca Bustamante. Expressing her enthusiasm to the media, she conveyed:
“I am so excited to be joining the Williams Driver Academy and competing in F1 Academy in 2024!
“This is something I never could have dreamed of. I can’t wait to embrace this new experience and learn as much as possible.”
Commenting on the successful inclusion of Block into the team, James Vowles, the Team Principal of Williams, remarked:
“We are excited to welcome Lia to Williams Racing as our F1 Academy driver for 2024. Lia has already achieved a tremendous amount in motorsport, has incredible natural talent, and the champion mindset and dedication to make a success of her journey into open-wheel racing.
“We cannot wait to get started on this journey together. As a team, we are committed to Formula 1 and F1 Academy’s joint efforts to improve female representation in motorsport, and we look forward to working with Lia as a key part of the Williams Racing Driver Academy.”
Sebastien Philippe, Team Principal of ART Grand Prix, emphasized that Lia’s affinity for extreme sports runs deep within her DNA. He went on to state:
“Extreme sports are part of Lia’s DNA and her debut in high-profile international competitions attest to her talent and her adaptability to a wide range of demanding environments. At 17 years old, Lia is driven with a great determination and an appetite for major challenges, that should allow her to quickly find her place on our team and in the F1 Academy.”