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The Female Racers of Spain 

The third round of F1 Academy will be taking place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend. 


This race weekend will be the home race for two current F1 Academy drivers but the country has also produced a number of successful drivers across many racing Championships over the years - we’ve included a few below. 


Marta Garcia

Marta Garcia has an impressive career behind her despite being just 23. 


Marta’s career began in 2016 when she made her single-seater debut during the F4 Spanish Championship as a guest driver - a year later, she joined the Championship full-time with MP Motorsport, where she finished P9 overall. 


Jumping ahead to 2019, Marta was part of the inaugural line-up in W Series, where she placed P4. The Spaniard also participated in the 2021 and 2022 series before joining F1 Academy. 


In early 2023, Marta was confirmed as driving on behalf of Prema Racing in the all-female Championship, F1 Academy. Across the series, Marta demonstrated her incredible capabilities after claiming seven race wins and five poles. During the final round of the season, Marta clinched the Championship win and received the fully-funded seat in Formula Regional European Championship (FRECA) for 2024. 


Now into the 2024 FRECA season, Marta is driving on behalf of Iron Dames alongside Mercedes junior driver, and current F1 Academy driver, Doriane Pin. 


Adding to her already impressive line-up, Marta has gotten behind the wheel in Formula E and most recently took part in a rookie test in Berlin for ERT Formula E Team. 


Maya Weug 

Maya made history in 2021 when she became the first female driver to join the Ferrari Driver Academy. 


Her racing career began when she won the finals of the FIA Girls on Track-Rising Stars programme in 2020. With the confidence and passion behind her, Maya then went on to compete in the Italian F4 Championship where she placed P7 in the Rookies cup. Outside of this, Maya has driven in Formula Regional and she has raced with Iron Dames. 


Today, Maya is one of two FDA drivers competing in F1 Academy, alongside Aurelia Nobels, and has claimed two podiums so far. 


Nerea Marti 

Nerea is also a current member of the F1 Academy grid. Her journey started during Spanish F4 in 2019 where she scored P2 on her debut race. 


Two years later, she switched to W Series where her career continued to thrive after a points-finish in every race and P4 overall. Impressively in her second year of W Series, Nerea gained her first career pole and placed P7 overall. 


Last year, Nerea was on the F1 Academy grid alongside Marta Garcia where she claimed another race victory in France. Returning to the Championship this year, Nerea remains part of Campos Racing and is supported by Tommy Hilfiger. 


Belen Garcia 

Belen’s career began in karting before she made her debut in the F4 Spanish Championship in 2019. At the close of the season, Belen placed P15 overall on equal points with Nerea Marti. 


Similar to her fellow Spanish peers, Belen participated in the W Series. Despite the series’ challenges, Belen remained strong and brought home P2 in one of the final races. 


Since the W Series, Belen has been focusing on endurance racing and has competed in the Le Mans Cup - LMP3, European le Mans Series - LMP3, and others including Ultimate Cup Series - Proto P3 where she claimed a win. 



Cristina Gutiérrez

Cristina has an incredible career behind her to date. 


After debuting at Dakar in 2017, she placed P44 but 6th in her class. Cristina competed in the 2018, 2021, 2022, and 2023 series before victory came in 2024.


Cristina made it to the top step during the 2024 Dakar Rally - a monumental moment. 


Outside of Dakar, she is making waves across Extreme E. Cristina joined Extreme E in 2020 and began racing for X44 where she finished P2 overall in the Championship, and then went on to win the 2022 Championship.


For the 2024 season, Cristina is competing for McLaren XE.


Laia Sanz 

There’s no denying that Laia Sanz has always had a passion for racing - she started cycling at a very young age, and began competing when she was just seven years old. 


She was driven by adrenaline and became the first female to compete alongside men in her championships, and soon claimed her first win in 1997. Despite being just 12 years old, Laia was set to be a trailblazer. 


In 2000 she made her international debut and continued competing for another 10 years before she made it to train for the Dakar Rally - her childhood dream. 


Her dream came true when she participated in 2011 and clinched the female class title. Laia went on to compete in the event in 2012, 2015, 2016, and 2020.


There are sadly two female Spanish racing drivers who have sadly passed - Lili Alvarez and Maria de Villota. 


Lili Alvarez 

To many, Lili Alvarez was known as ‘Spain’s first great tennis star’ but it’s important to note that she also got involved in racing. 


Whilst little is known about Lili’s racing career, many claim that she started very young with a passion for the sport and won the motor racing championships in Catalunya at the age of 19. 


Maria de Villota 

Maria was the daughter of former F1 driver, Emilio de Villota, so it was no secret that racing was in her blood. 


The Spaniard dipped her toes into F1 when she made her testing debut in 2011 for the Lotus Renault GP team. Shortly after, the Marussia F1 team announced her as their test driver. 


A few months later, De Villota was involved in an accident whilst straight-line testing on behalf of the F1 team. As a result of the incident, Maria suffered numerous injuries which she dealt with before her passing in October 2013. 

2 Comments


Ryan Katelyn
Ryan Katelyn
11 hours ago

Cristina Gutiérrez, a naturally skilled driver from Spain, became the second woman to win the Dakar Rally in 2024 after winning the dinosaur game Challenger class.


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han gu
han gu
Jun 27

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