F1 Academy, the all-female Formula 4 championship that was launched this year, has announced a tie-up with the Champions of the Future karting series.
A spin-off international Champions of the Future Academy series will be created and use an “engine and chassis lottery system”, and races will be run for three age groups: Seniors (14-17), Juniors (11-14) and Minis (8-11).
F1 Academy wants there to be six rounds to the, with each round featuring two ‘final’ races that award more championship points than heats and other pre-final races within each weekend. At least one per season is set to take place outside of Europe.
Three female drivers in each of the age groups will have their entry fees subsidised by F1 Academy, and will compete “in an F1 Academy-branded kart and race suit”.
The three best female drivers from the Senior group – and it is not clear if ‘best’ means means highest-placed in the standings or is determined in a different way – will be invited to an F1 Academy test. It is not confirmed if those invites guarantee seat time an F4 car or not.
CotF’s president James Geidel “will work closely” with F1 Academy’s managing director Susie Wolff “to identify promising karters who show the skills and traits needed to progress through the junior levels”.
At present CotF runs races for OK and OK-Junior karts, and does not run a series for Mini class karts. Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 junior Alex Powell was the 2023 OK champion ahead of Alpine junior Kean Nakamura Berta and Joe Turney, with Eliska Babickova the highest placed woman in the standings in 21st place.
Lewis Wherrell swept to this year’s OK-J title, and Mercedes junior Luna Fluxa was 47th in the standings.