The all-female Formula 4 series F1 Academy has updated its sporting regulations for 2024, with one noticable change being a limit on how long drivers can race in the series.
Of the 15 drivers who competed in the inaugural season last year, all bar champion Marta Garcia were allowed to stay in F1 Academy for a second season. So far six have taken up that opportunity, but that now prohibits them from being on the grid in 2025 as a cap of two seasons has been set.
In the announcement of the rule change, F1 Academy said the update to the regulations had been made “to encourage progression and support rising talent” and that “the introduction of this rule will ensure that every year there are opportunities for the most talented young women coming through the karting and single-seater ranks to compete in the series”.
Of the 11 drivers signed up so far for the 2024 season, seven stepped down from Formula Regional to race in F1 Academy. Two others have switched across from sportscar racing, one has swapped off-road racing for single-seaters and only one arrives in the series to embark on her second full year racing in F4 after graduating from karting.
After successfully establishing itself last year, F1 Academy is now also awarding FIA superlicence points for its second season onwards. The 2024 champion will receive 10 points, which is two less than champions of national F4 series, with the runner-up earning seven points, third place in the standings taking five and the issuing of three points and one point respectively to the drivers who come fourth and fifth this season.
Although the grid size was initially announced as remaining at the same size as in 2023, with five teams running three cars each, F1 Academy has now introduced wildcard entries (to be run by Prema) to boost its entry list at certain rounds this year.
To make it onto the grid as a wildcard, who despite the title will be eligible to score points, a driver has to impress the event promoter and the series organiser. They also have to be “from the host region”, although this is not specified as being a country or a wider area. Three of this year’s seven rounds take place in the Middle East, but in three different nations.