Lia Block joins Williams F1 Academy program

Lia Block joins Williams F1 Academy program

Lia Block has joined the Williams Formula 1 Driver Academy program and the team has announced that it will be supporting her in the 2024 F1 Academy season.

Williams F1 team intends to support Lia Block, the daughter of the late motorsport legend Ken, by fielding her in the single-seater squad ART Grand Prix for 2024.

Block will make her single-seater debut with the ART Grand Prix team as the all-female series establishes stronger ties with Formula One. Her late father Ken amassed a massive following for his viral Gymkhana videos.

“I am so excited to be joining the Williams Driver Academy and competing in F1 Academy in 2024,” Block said. “This is something I never could have dreamed of. I can’t wait to embrace this new experience and learn as much as possible.”

Every F1 team will support a minimum of one driver in the second season of the F1 Academy championship, which will feature seven rounds of races next year.

McLaren was the first team to do so after announcing 18-year-old Bianca Bustamante into its young driver program.

Williams has now followed suit, adding 17-year-old Block to its driver academy where she will be paired with drivers Jamie Chadwick of Indy NXT and Zak O’Sullivan, who is making his F1 debut in Abu Dhabi.

“We are excited to welcome Lia to Williams Racing as our F1 Academy driver for 2024,” Williams F1 team boss James Vowles added.

“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.”

Block started her motorsport career at the age of eleven, quickly combining off-road racing with karting.

Over the past two years, she has participated in national rallies, and earlier this year, she competed in two Extreme E events with two-time DTM champion Timo Scheider.

Her most well-known rally achievement came about this year when she won the Open 2WD championship, making history as the youngest driver to win a major American rally championship.

She will be driving alongside Bustamante and an additional, unidentified driver at the ART GP next season.

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