Jess Hawkins has become the first woman to drive a modern Formula One car in five years, following a test session. The experienced racing and stunt driver got a chance to drive the current Aston Martin AMR21 F1 race car at the Hungaroring circuit, near Budapest.
It was the fulfillment of a life-long dream for the Hampshire-born star, and a further benefit of her role as an official ‘driver ambassador’ for Aston Martin.
Completing 26 laps of the Hungaroring in total, Hawkins shared the test session with Aston Martin’s test and reserve driver, Felipe Drugovich.
Fulfilling a career goal
Jess Hawkins has already established an impressive motorsport CV, having won numerous karting championships.
The British driver also competed in the all-female W Series in both 2019 and 2021, and has made appearances in the British Touring Car Championship. She was appointed a driver ambassador for Aston Martin two years ago.
Next year will see Hawkins compete in the all-female F1 Academy series, representing the Aston Martin team as its nominated driver. The 2024 F1 Academy season will see Formula One outfits taking a greater involvement in the development championship.
Away from the track, Hawkins was a stunt driver in the latest James Bond film, No Time to Die, and even holds a Guinness World Record for driving the fastest-accelerating lawnmower.
“Blood, sweat and tears to get here”
Speaking after the test session, Hawkins said: “I want to say a big thank you to everyone at AMF1 Team for having the trust in me, believing in me, and for giving me this opportunity. It’s taken me every bit of blood, sweat and tears to get here. When I first heard it might be a possibility, I could hardly believe it.”
She added: “I’ve had to keep it secret for months now – which was pretty hard! It’s been absolutely worth it and it’s given me really valuable insight. Nothing will compare to the acceleration and braking of a Formula One car and, having looked at the data, I’m really proud of my performance.”
Mike Krack, Aston Martin F1 team principal said: “We were really impressed by Jessica’s preparation for the test – she worked incredibly hard with our simulator team and that made it an easy decision to put her in the AMR21. Jessica approached the opportunity with great maturity; she was up to speed quickly and found a nice rhythm.”
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