This motorsport season, Marta García is returning to the all-female single-seater championship W Series. Alongside Fabienne Wohlwend, she will race for CortDAO - a newly formed community-owned team. During the Barcelona test last month, Females in Motorsport talked with the Spanish driver about her targets for 2022, social media, and all things W Series.
Marta started her career in karting at an early age and she went on to win several international competitions, such as the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy and the Trofeo delle Industrie back in 2015.
“I want to go higher and not stay in karting,” she says.
But, as for most racers, finding a budget has been an issue. She tells Females in Motorsport that, if it wasn’t for W Series, she wouldn’t be racing anymore.
“I don’t have any money,” she says. “I don’t have any financial support.”
With a successful karting career under her belt, she started to move up the feeder series ladder and competed in the Formula 4 Spanish championship in 2017. That same year, she joined the Renault Sport Academy. However, after finishing ninth in the standings, she unfortunately lost their backing and she had to put a halt to her career because of financial reasons.
Therefore, the free-to-enter championship allowed Marta to make a comeback in motorsport racing in 2019 and what a comeback it was. In her first race after more than a year without competing, Marta finished on the podium at the Hockenheimring.
“In the last three years, the support from the sport toward women has been increasing quite a lot and that’s what they needed to do and it’s been really good.”
Her 2019 season showed real promise as she finished fourth, with a win from pole position at the Norisring to add to her silverware tally. Unfortunately, this progress could not be continued in the next season, which was curtailed due to the pandemic.
In 2021, W Series was back and bigger than before, supporting select Formula 1 races. During that season, Marta competed for Puma Racing but it didn't work out the way she wanted it to. Her season actually ended one race earlier than she had planned.
“I finished last year in Austin,” she says. “I didn’t do the last race because of problems that I had. So, I haven’t done anything since Austin. I’ve been training physically and preparing myself but I haven’t been in a car, not even karting.”
She withdrew from the last round of the championship because of her anxiety. The young driver shared her experience on social media: “Sometimes we underestimate our mental health, and that’s not good. I’ve suffered from anxiety for a long time now and it has been following me throughout this season. And yesterday, I felt that I had to put my health as the priority, instead of racing. It’s hard to say that, but it is what I thought was best for me.”
Marta has a large following on social media and expressing herself on such an important topic is undoubtedly inspiring many of her fans.
“Social media is really important and it has a big power,” she says. “It also helps others to fight for things they might have not thought possible. I like to inspire women and people who have dreams. I like being on social media for those things.”
And she will keep inspiring women this season as she returns to the W Series grid. She is approaching this new season with a different mindset and doesn’t want to put pressure on herself. This doesn’t mean she won’t fight for wins.
“I don’t really have expectations for myself,” she says.
“I just need to have fun first because sometimes when you are racing and you see that the results are not coming, you get frustrated and you are not even having fun in what you are doing.
“The first target is to have fun while racing and then, of course, to keep improving as a racing driver, to be a better racing driver.
“I want to win. But I am going to be working hard this season, with no pressure, and see how it goes.
"I would love to be on the podium and I would love to win some races as well.”
Last month in Barcelona, it was her first time back in a car since Austin. After two days of testing, the young driver was happy with the progress she made.
“I’m happy because I’ve been making some improvements these two days with the engineers,” she says. “We made some good improvements that will stay and help me throughout the season.”
As W Series is returning for its third season, the calibre of talent on the grid has increased. The drivers who have been here since the beginning have now gained more experience, and have had the opportunity to accumulate valuable running time behind the wheel. This season welcomes new talent like Juju Noda (an F4 race-winner) or Tereza Babickova (who showed during testing raw speed and a fighting spirit).
“There have been more people coming to the championship and the level is higher than in 2019,” she says. “It’s good for us to learn from each other as well.”
This new season, which starts in Miami on 6-8 May, promises to deliver some great races and we wish Marta the best of luck.
Photos are courtesy of W Series.