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Hawkins: Mercedes junior Pin is an ‘exceptional talent’

Doriane Pin has been described as an “exceptional talent” by Aston Martin driver ambassador Jessica Hawkins following her dominant performances at the F1 Academy season opener.

Pin took pole position for both races in Jeddah, where F1 Academy was part of the F1 support series programme at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes junior went on to win Race 1 and crossed the line first in Race 2 but was controversially demoted to ninth after failing to realise the race was over and completing another lap.

Pin went full pelt on what was the cool-down lap, with the red flag needed to stop her, so was given a drive-through penalty post-race which was turned into a 20-second time penalty. Britain’s Abbi Pulling benefited and was promoted to first place.

Ferrari’s Maya Weug was promoted to second and Nerea Marti up to third.

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Doriane Pin loses out on her F1 Academy race win in Jeddah after receiving a 20-second penalty for failing to slow down after the chequered flag. The French driver claimed there were radio issues which meant she wasn’t aware the race had finished.

“I don’t think it is for me to comment on the penalty,” said Hawkins, who was the most recent female driver to test an F1 car last year.

“But what Doriane can take away from the weekend is that she was dominant. She clearly is an exceptional talent and I have no worries or questions that she will be fighting back up the front next time.

“I think it is very clear to everyone that she did a fantastic job and nothing should be taken away from how she drove over the weekend.”

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Highlights of the second F1 Academy race at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Hawkins: F1 Academy perfect platform to prepare drivers

The last female driver to take part in an F1 weekend was F1 Academy managing director Susie Wolff for Williams at the 2014 British GP, when she took part in Practice One.

Lella Lombardi is the last driver to race in the Grand Prix itself, in 1976, and she’s the only woman to score points when she finished sixth at the 1975 Spanish GP.

F1 Academy, which began in 2023, creates a smooth transition from karting up the F1 feeder series ladder, with the possibility of a woman racing in F1 in the future.

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Aston Martin driver ambassador Jessica Hawkins outlines the importance of F1 Academy and its effect on the younger generation.

“This is a championship and category that I am very passionate about,” explained Hawkins, who is Aston Martin’s head of racing for F1 Academy.

“I have the backing of everyone behind me at the factory, we are all behind Tina Hausmann (Aston Martin F1 Academy driver), we are all behind this programme, and I think it is key that we all get behind it as much as we can.

“It is about making little steps where we can and keep pushing and keep pushing and inspire the younger generation again to ensure that more females are getting in at a grassroots level.

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Jess Hawkins thinks the F1 Academy series is a ‘perfect platform’ for women drivers to develop and showcase talent and prepare them for their career.

“We all want to see a women in Formula 1 don’t we? That is what we want, that is what I want. I don’t think we [will] have really achieved what we set out to do until a women in Formula 1 is no longer a milestone, but I do think that we are some time away from that.

“But, this championship is a massive opportunity for these young drivers that may not have the opportunity without F1 Academy to showcase their talent, develop their talent, work closely with a Formula 1 team as well, early on in their career. A lot of drivers don’t have that opportunity.

“So, it really is the perfect platform to be preparing them for the later stages of their career.”

Formula 1’s biggest ever season continues with the Australian Grand Prix from March 22-24, live on Sky Sports F1. Stream every F1 race and more with NOW

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