F1 Academy champion Marta Garcia will join the Prema squad in the Formula Regional European Championship next year.
The first-ever F1 Academy champion, Marta Garcia, is scheduled to race in the Formula Regional European Championship in 2024 and will have full funding from PREMA Racing which is an exceptionally strong team, in the feeder series.
Garcia was awarded the F1 Academy champion last weekend at The Circuit of the Americas in Austin. Garcia capped up her debut in the all-female series after a seventh race victory to comfortably secure the title.
The F1 Academy series was designed to help young female drivers advance through the ranks of racing was established at the end of the previous year with the drivers racing on Formula 4 cars.
Currently, five teams with significant Formula 2 and 3 expertise, including the Prema team Garcia has been racing under, have signed on to participate in F1 Academy’s inaugural season.
The promotion of the 23-year-old Spanish driver, who will receive financial backing from Tatuus, Pirelli, PREMA Racing, and F1 Academy, confirms the series’ commitment to developing drivers up the single-seater hierarchy and preparing them for higher-level racing.
FRECA was established in 2021 as a result of the merger of the Formula Regional European Championship and the Formula Renault Eurocup. Since then, it has grown to become a reputable and well-respected testing ground for young drivers who want to gain the experience and skills required to move up to the FIA Formula 3 Championship from an F4-level series.
FRECA and F1 Academy have reached a milestone agreement whereby the latter will provide a fourth entry for the entire season to its top-ranked teams in the event that they sign a driver who finishes P1, P2, or P3 in the F1 Academy standings.
“So thrilled and excited to be racing in FRECA next year,” said Garcia. “Coming from F1 Academy, it’s going to be a big step.
“We know we will have to work a lot with the team to succeed but I’m really determined to do well.
“I can’t thank F1 Academy enough. It is such a fantastic initiative, and it is the right way to do it, trying to take drivers with the best results to the top level.
“What an amazing opportunity! I’m looking forward to it and to the work that we have ahead, inside and outside the track.”
Apart from providing support to its first-ever champion in FRECA, F1 Academy is also going to reduce the driver cost for the 2024 season from €150,000 to €100,000.
The series’ dedication to creating a more convenient entry point for young women into the single-seater racing ladder is further highlighted by this reduction.
“F1 Academy is all about progression and creating more opportunities for young women across motorsport, so to offer a fully funded seat in FRECA for our inaugural champion is a significant moment,” said Susie Wolff, Managing Director of F1 Academy.
“The fact that she will also continue to race with PREMA, whom she has built a relationship with and are current team champions in this category, will also aid in her future development.
“I am proud of the progress we have made in our first season, and as we begin to build for our 2024 season where we will join the F1 calendar.
“This announcement, alongside the decision to further subsidise the 2024 F1 Academy driver contribution to €100,000, is a statement of our continued commitment to make motorsport more accessible and break down the barriers faced by female drivers.”
The 2024 F1 Academy will feature seven rounds that continue to run concurrently with F1 grand prix events, as has been previously officially announced. Each of the ten Formula 1 teams will also be required to enter a driver in the series sporting their unique livery.
McLaren has already declared that Bianca Bustamante has joined its driver development program in preparation of sponsoring her at the F1 Academy next season.