Alpine wants to bring a woman into Formula 1

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Alpine has started a new project: “Rac(H)er”. By 2030, the French brand not only wants to ensure more diversity among its employees, but also bring a woman into Formula 1.

Laurent Rossi, Managing Director of Alpine, is confident: “There is no reason why women should not be able to do this, but the road is long. [Wir reden] from an eight-year project and it starts now,” he told the BBC.

Already “in the coming weeks” four to five girls would start karting. With the support of Alpine, they should first switch to single-seater racing in the next few years and then go through all the junior classes. The highlight of the program would then be entry as a regular driver in Formula 1.

From karting to Formula 1 with Alpine funding

“The idea is, let’s start from scratch and make sure we build a path. Just like we’ve done for men. I’m convinced that if we do that, we’ll have a much greater chance of success for women,” says Rossi.

“It’s just about creating the right framework and about changing perspectives and breaking down prejudices. I guess at the moment 99 percent of women believe it’s not feasible. But we’re also only talking to a very small proportion of women at the moment .”

“But if we open it, then who knows? Then, statistically speaking, we’ll get more women who want to try it. And we’ll train them. Hopefully then there will be more women who will be able to do it [in die Formel 1] to accomplish.”

Alpine boss: women can do it!

The last woman to have sat in a racing car at a Formula 1 race weekend is Susie Wolff. The wife of Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff competed in Friday practice for the British Grand Prix in Silverstone for Williams in 2014 – 22 years after the last appearance of a woman at a Grand Prix event: in 1992 Giovanna Amati reported for three races with Brabham, but failed to qualify.

Rossi himself sees no reason why women could not be successful in the “premier class” of motorsport: “Women fly fighter jets and become astronauts. They could also drive a Formula 1 car. I’m sure of it.”

With his project, Rossi also wants to refute the thesis that women cannot physically keep up with men in motorsport. He says: “If Fernando Alonso can drive a Formula 1 car at 40, then I don’t see why a super-fit woman at 30 couldn’t do it.”

“I’m 40 myself, and I know what that means, so I’m pretty sure a super-fit woman at 30 would beat Fernando in most physical activities. So if he’s pretty good at driving a Formula 1 car now, then that’s a good example of that not physical strength [alleine] is the key to success.”

Creating the financial basis for the Rac(H)er project

But one step after the other: First of all, Alpine has to lay the foundations for the new project. Among other things, Renault’s sports department wants to ensure “the right financial package” and actively look for sponsors with the aim of creating a fund for female motorsport talents.

At the same time, Alpine is committed to internal and external training programs and wants to encourage young women in particular to pursue scientific and technical training. A mentoring program will then help to inspire more women to work at Alpine and support them in their careers in the company.

50 percent of the new employees are women

The accompanying press release states: “We want to increase diversity step by step. The goal is that [die Belegschaft] In five years, 30 percent will be women.” For comparison: For 2022, Alpine specifies a value of twelve percent. A first measure: In the future, 50 percent of the new employees should be women.

“We don’t just want to shift statistics here,” says Claire Mesnier, Alpine’s HR manager. “We have launched a unique, long-term project that builds on the commitment of all employees. The challenge is on the one hand to initiate reflection within the teams, but on the other hand to develop concrete plans for how we move forward as a company.”

The top floor of the French company sets a good example here: “50 percent of the management are women. Not because we have a quota to meet, but because they are the best in their respective disciplines, in order to fulfill their role and their responsibility will.”

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