Just a day after the shootout ended, the twelve girls still in the running towards getting to do a full F4 season with the support of the Ferrari Driver Academy were up early again for the start of the three-day training camp at Paul Ricard.
The training camp was full of karting, starting with a free practice and debrief on Wednesday. Winfield Racing School remained involved with the programme after the shootout to help the girls develop their driving skills. After the karting session, the mental and physical workshops led by 321 Perform that started at the shootout continued. Media training was on the schedule again too, because talking in front of a camera is not something that comes natural to most of us and these twelve drivers have already had more media attention through the programme than most drivers at that point of their careers. After some more karting the girls took an ice bath and had some sauna time. Ice baths help athletes recover faster and reduce muscle soreness. For some of the girls it was their very first time in one. Following this cold intermezzo, the drivers only had ice (😉) for the new judge that flew over that day; W Series runner up and Le Mans finisher Beitske Visser. It was an especially wonderful surprise for Dutch Esmee Kosterman, since Beitske is one of her biggest idols.
On Thursday, another judge arrived at Paul Ricard. It was none other than ex-F1 driver and FIA Karting President Felipe Massa. The two Brazilians in the training camp, Julia Ayoub and Antonella Bassani, were thrilled to see one of their country’s greatest racing stars supporting the programme they are a part of.
“I’m very happy to see girls joining karting, it’s very important for karting and for the sport, for all the categories. Karting is a school, everything starts from here. It’s also a good step to understand that maybe these girls can do a very good job after karting. We have a very high level and it’s good for the future of the sport.” – Felipe Massa (FIA WIM website)
For the Thursday and Friday, the girls were split up into two groups. Both groups started both days with some karting; a warm up, qualifying session, and finale. While one group had F4 simulator sessions on Thursday and reaction speed, memory and levels of concentration tests on Friday, the other group’s schedule was the other way around. On Thursday, the drivers who have all been guided by Winfield Racing School since the start of the training days had a tour around the building of the French organization that has helped them improve their racing craft.
After these five intense days of training, which consisted of a shootout with twenty drivers and a three-day training camp with twelve drivers, the judges picked eight racing drivers who will progress to the next round of the programme, which will be a Formula 4-focused training camp at Paul Ricard on 2-4 November. The eight drivers that still have a shot at that 2021 F4 and FDA seat are:
Note: Juju Noda was not present at the three-day training camp. Both her and Doriane Pin were given the choice to skip the training camp because they have already done car racing.
“It has been really interesting to follow their progression over the past few days and see them take in so much advice and knowledge from the coaches. For our eight selected drivers going on to the second Training Camp, I’m sure they will really start to feel the pressure now, but that is all part of being a complete athlete and I wish them every success.”- Michèle Mouton (FIA WIM website)