After testing the Aston Martin at the Hungaroring, Jessica Hawkins made history as the first woman to drive a competitive Formula 1 car in 2018. Before making her Formula 1 testing debut, Hawkins, who joined Aston Martin in 2021 as its Driver Ambassador, recently participated in simulator training. After splitting driving time with Aston Martin's test and reserve driver, Felipe Drugovich, the British driver—a former W Series podium finisher and British Karting Champion—completed 26 laps around the Hungaroring. Hawkins intends to back Aston Martin's participation in the 2024 season of the women-only F1 Academy series. Since Tatiana Calderon's brief ride in a Sauber C37 on a filming day in Mexico in 2018, Hawkins is the only woman to test a Grand Prix Vehicle.
Jessica 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. 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 1 car and, having looked at the data, I’m really proud of my performance. Getting to drive the AMR21 has been a dream come true for me and one I’ve been ready to fulfil for a long time. I’ll keep pushing for more and, in the process, I want to inspire other women and let them know they should follow their dream no matter what it is.”
Aston Martin Team Principal Mike Krack added: “This is a special moment – for both the Aston Martin Team and for Jessica, who is an important member of our driver squad. 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. This has been a hugely significant moment in Jessica’s journey with AMF1 Team and I am pleased we could give her this next step in her development journey by testing a modern Formula 1 car,” he added.
F1: Aston Martin’s 2023 Season So Far
After consistently challenging for podium spots in the season's first few races, Fernando Alonso has since fallen out of the hunt. The slump for both the Spaniard and Aston Martin continued in Japan, where he finished eighth. It was immediately apparent that Aston Martin was the second-fastest team in the field when the 2023 season began. Mercedes, McLaren, and Ferrari, among others, were all having consistency issues.
Aston Martin's season is shaping up to be quite lacklustre. The British squad, which was previously in second place, is in risk of dropping to fifth place behind McLaren. It's been a frustrating process for Alonso, too. At one point during the course of the season, he considered winning his 33rd race. Now, it's difficult for him to even challenge for a podium finish, and the previous two races have shown that he's struggling to even finish in the points. Although Alonso has spent much of the 2023 season among the top three, he is currently in danger of being passed by Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc as the season draws to a close.