W Series announces that Irina Sidorkova and Nerea Martí will take part in a full testing day with the FIA Formula 3 Championship at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, France, on 9 November 2021.
The W Series Academy Team drivers will run in F3 cars at the circuit which hosted 18 Formula 1 French Grands Prix between 1991 and 2008. Irina (18, RUS) and Nerea (19, ESP) have both impressed during their debut W Series season in 2021. Nerea scored the first podium of her W Series career at the fourth round in Hungary on her way to a fourth-placed finish in the championship. Irina ended the year in ninth position in the standings, the highlight of her campaign coming at the second race of the season at Austria’s Red Bull Ring where she finished runner-up.
The series’ two youngest full-time drivers, Irina and Nerea are guaranteed drives in W Series for two years until the end of the 2022 season. The W Series Academy aims to provide a clear pathway to the upper echelons of motorsport, and the Formula 3 testing day will be the latest opportunity for the drivers to hone their driving skills. As members of the W Series Academy, Irina and Nerea receive intensive mentoring and coaching. They are also provided with a bespoke fitness and nutrition programme, as well as media training to support their professional development.
Catherine Bond Muir (Chief Executive Officer, W Series) said:
“W Series exists to create a pathway for female racing drivers as they progress into the upper tiers of motorsport. Today’s announcement that our two youngest drivers, Irina Sidorkova and Nerea Martí, will take part in a full testing day with the FIA Formula 3 Championship, is proof that we are succeeding in that mission.
“We launched the W Series Academy this season to provide young drivers with the extra coaching and mentoring they need to fulfil their potential. Both Irina and Nerea have already repaid that faith by putting in some eye-catching performances throughout the year and impressing all of us with their professionalism on and off the track. The F3 test is the natural next step for them both. I would like to thank F3 for providing this excellent opportunity which I am sure our two promising young drivers will make the most of.”
Bruno Michel (Chief Executive Officer, FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3) said:
“Diversity is a very important subject for us. Our wish is to ensure that more and more female drivers join our championship. We hope that this test is the first step towards making the road to Formula 1 for a female driver more systematic.
“With this test, we want Nerea and Irina to familiarise themselves with F3, the car, and how we work. It will not be about performance, but about understanding the demands of the category. It will be a first taste of what to expect, as we hope they will progress to our championship in the near future.
“This is a very exciting opportunity, and we are already thinking about the next steps so that this test is not just a one off.”