F1 Academy champion Marta Garcia has secured a fully funded drive in the Formula Regional European Championship with Prema in 2024.
Announcing the deal, F1 Academy said it was contributing financially “towards the cost” of Garcia’s seat along with Prema as well as chassis manufacturer Tatuus and tyre supplier Pirelli, who supply both championships.
It also heralded “a milestone agreement” in which FREC will permit “its top teams” to run an additional fourth car for a driver who finishes in the top three of the F1 Academy standings.
FREC teams were previously allowed to run an a fourth car for a female driver in 2021/22 but this was dropped for 2023. This resulted in Ferrari junior Maya Weug driving for KIC Motorsport rather than Prema.
“I’m so thrilled and excited to be racing in FREC next year,” Garcia said. “Coming from F1 Academy, it’s going to be a big step. We know we will have to work a lot with the team to succeed but I’m really determined to do well.
“I can’t thank F1 Academy enough. It is such a fantastic initiative, and it is the right way to do it, trying to take drivers with the best results to the top level. What an amazing opportunity, I’m looking forward to it and to the work that we have ahead, inside and outside the track.”
Garcia previously raced FRegional machinery during the three years of W Series before its collapse led her to compete with Prema in the inaugural F1 Academy season.
“We are really happy to continue working with Marta for 2024,” said Prema boss Rene Rosin. “We were really impressed by her approach and professionalism, and the progress she made throughout the year showed that she is ready to take the next chapter of her career.
“FREC is a challenging and competitive championship, but we think that Marta will be up to pace and we will support her to get there as quickly as possible.”
F1 Academy also announced it will reduce the amount drivers need to contribute to race in its series from €150,000 to €100,000 for 2024.