13-year-old Aashi Hanspal from Mumbai has been selected as one of 20 young female racers to be part of the FIA’s (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) new ‘Girls on Track – Rising Stars’ project.
Hanspal was shortlisted out of 70 entries across the world and is now in the running to become Ferrari’s first-ever female racer in Formula 4. As part of the next step of the project, she’ll be heading to France’s Paul Ricard Circuit in October for the top 12 selection shoot-out.
What is the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars project?
Launched earlier this month by the FIA’s Women in Motorsport Commission, the ‘Girls on Track – Rising Stars’ project aims to discover the best young female racers around the world (in the 12-16 age bracket), train them and help them reach a professional career in motorsport.
Future Ferrari Formula 4 drive on the cards
In an attempt to secure a long-term motorsport pathway for these young female racers, the project has also tied-up with Scuderia Ferrari and its Ferrari Driver Academy as part of a four-year programme. This collaboration will see two drivers potentially joining Ferrari for an FIA Formula 4 Championship season in the future.
The 20 selected racers have been invited to France for a shoot-out on October 12-13, where the top 12 will be selected. These 12 racers will then undergo two different karting and Formula 4-focused training camps in October and November. Just four drivers will then be selected to attend a one-week course at the Ferrari Driver Academy.
At the academy, the drivers receive training for their physical technique and will also be introduced to motorsport’s economic and media aspects. Subject to final assessment, the best of the four drivers could be awarded a one-year contract to join the Ferrari Driver Academy programme for the 2021 Formula 4 season. Ferrari also has the option to renew the driver’s contract for an additional year
In a letter written to Hanspal, Michele Mouton, President of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, stressed that the dates of the shoot-out and training camps have been chosen to “enable the shortlisted girls to travel from different parts of the world” despite the current COVID-19 related travel restrictions.
Hanspal’s racing career
Last year marked Hanspal’s first foray into the world of national karting. She managed to impress in her debut season, picking up five podium finishes in the 2019 JK Tyres FMSCI National Karting Championship. Her achievements also resulted in her being awarded the Outstanding Women in Motorsports Award at the 2020 FMSCI Annual Awards.