The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship played host to Formula E FIA Girls on Track in Mexico City, Berlin and on our first trip to Jakarta this season; promoting gender equality and increased female participation in motorsport across all roles - from engineers to journalists and drivers.
Girls on Track seeks to drive forward gender equality and increased participation in motorsport; "we want to inspire the next generation of young girls who want to create opportunity within the sport and make sure that they're supported through role models and mentoring," says ROKiT Venturi Racing's Susie Wolff - founder of Dare to be Different, which joined forces with Formula E and the FIA to become the Girls on Track Initiative.
It's open to girls aged 8-18 from all backgrounds and with no motorsport experience required and aims to empower girls and showcase the opportunities open to them in the world of motorsport. From living in the fast lane as a driver, to working behind the scenes as one of the engineers working on the fastest cars on track, helping them realise their dreams, gain confidence and learn first-hand what life working in the world of motorsport is like.
Having launched in February 2019 at the Mexico City E-Prix, and following more success with an event at the Berlin E-Prix early in 2019, Formula E partnered with Girls on Track initiative again for Season 6 at the season-opening Diriyah E-Prix and Round 3 in Santiago, Chile.
When fans returned full-time to the grandstands in Season 8, Girls on Track made its comeback, too. The Mexico City E-Prix marked that return and saw some 150 girls head to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with them taking part in activities such as eKarting, simulator challenges, garage tours and wheel change practice, the girls got to sample the unique race experience at the iconic Mexico City circuit and saw robot building with ABB and entered virtual worlds with DHL. Berlin and Jakarta also played host, with London next on the schedule.
Driving the sport forward
Creating an all-electric race car that is designed and optimised specifically for wheel-to-wheel street racing but also setting the new standard for the world's first net zero carbon race car in the world's first net zero sport is no mean feat. This task was handed to Alessandra Ciliberti, FIA Formula E Technical Manager and Gen3 Project Lead.
Ciliberti has a longstanding passion for motorsport, stretching all the way back to when she was a child and she was able to marry that passion to another - her love of applied physics. She chose to head into engineering for a career and says Girls on Track is key in inspiring young girls that motorsport can be the right place for them and raising awareness that a "level playing field" in the sport is a must if motor racing is to progress.
Follow your dreams
Formula E FIA Girls on Track was borne out of Susie Wolff's Dare To Be Different programme, founded with the same aim of encouraging women into the sport. Wolff is CEO at ROKiT Venturi Racing, having held the role of Team Principal until Season 8.
Delphine Biscaye, who's been with Wolff's team since 2009 is one of its leading engineers who now operates as Team Manager for the Monegasque outfit. The Advanced Mechanics graduate feels everybody should feel able to work in motorsport.
“I grew up in an environment where you had to prove yourself and prove what you can do," said Biscaye. "My family was always behind me and my brothers, but we grew up with the idea that you make yourself.
“I had this idea that if you want to do something or make something, then you should just go and do it and not always ask for permission or wait for advice or help – just go and do your best. That’s what pushed me.
“If I had to offer a piece of advice to someone who wants to work in motorsport – or for life in general – I would say don’t stop. Don’t listen to the people who say that you can’t do it. Just try and you will see what you can do."
Published on 23rd June 2022
4 min read