Mercedes adds first female member to driver academy

Mercedes adds first female member to driver academy

Formula 1

Mercedes adds first female member to driver academy

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Mercedes has added its first female member to its driver academy as Spanish-British karter Luna Fluxa is one of seven in its setup for 2022.

Fluxa won the European Mini X30 championship last year and will continue to compete in karts this season, racing in the OK Junior class. The 11-year-old joins fellow new recruit Daniel Guinchard at Mercedes, alongside remaining young drivers Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Paul Aron, Yuanpu Cui, Alex Powell and Frederik Vesti.

The announcements follow the promotion of George Russell from Williams to Mercedes, marking the first driver to reach the main team from the program.

“It’s definitely a special year with the promotion of George, who was one of our first junior drivers since the young driver program was reborn in 2016,” driver development advisor Gwen Lagrue said. “Lewis (Hamilton) is one of the greatest sportspeople of all time and is an inspiration to all racing drivers, so it will be a brilliant opportunity for our juniors to get to know and look up to the seven-time F1 champion.

“It’s also special because we have recruited our first female driver to the program with Luna, who won the European Mini X30 championship last year. We also welcome Daniel, who had an outstanding 2021 in go-karts and will step up to British F4 this year.

“We now are present in almost every category of the motorsport pyramid, from go-karting to F1, with a group of talented young drivers. And we are constantly working on preparing the next generation of F1 and motorsport stars.”

Mercedes motorsport strategy director James Vowles says the target is for some of the current crop to follow in Russell’s footsteps.

“George joining alongside Lewis marks a significant milestone for our young driver program,” Vowles said. “Every year, the program has grown, and we are fortunate to have an incredible line-up across categories ranging from karting to F1. We’ll be working hard to provide the best support and environment we can, enabling them to focus on the job in hand and deliver their maximum potential. The Mercedes young drivers of today, will hopefully be our champions of tomorrow.”

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