Susie Wolff has expressed her disappointment that of the 20 Formula 1 drivers, it was only Lewis Hamilton and George Russell who visited the F1 Academy paddock in Austin.
For the first time since the competition’s inception, F1 Academy is sharing a paddock with Formula 1 with the final round taking place on the same weekend as the United States Grand Prix.
That gave the F1 teams and personnel a chance to meet their F1 Academy counterparts but Hamilton and Russell were the only ones to take up the opportunity.
Susie Wolff ‘expects’ more F1 interaction in 2024
That lack of support has frustrated F1 Academy managing director Wolff who said it was a “little bit sad” for only Hamilton to regularly make the effort.
“It’s a little bit sad that it’s always Lewis,” she told Sky Sports F1. “He’s always the one offering support, coming over and really, because I think in the end, he knows what it’s like to be the only one and so he has an affinity.
“But there’s going to be the 10 F1 teams with their own livery, so I expect a lot more interaction from the F1 teams generally next season because they have the platforms, they have the voices and I think that’s something which will be hugely helpful because this is not a short-term project. If we want to see success, it’s got to be long term.”
Wolff described getting all 10 teams onboard for next season as “no mean feat” but was happy with the doors it has opened up.
“The great thing for me when I signed all 10 teams, which was no mean feat I have to say it took a long time, it was a huge workload off my desk because they all have junior academies, they all know about nurturing talent and what you need to be successful in this sport and they all had to go out and find their drivers,” Wolff said.
“You can only stay two years in F1 Academy so they know ‘okay, I need to find the next driver’ and that has already started a wave of these teams looking for young talent, nurturing young talent so that you have a better chance of success.
“Like we all know, these F1 teams are hugely competitive, they want to find the best female driver and that’s already created such a positive knock-on effect, even down to the world of karting.”