Formula Equal: Racing Towards Gender Equality in Formula One

Edie Carneiro, Copy Editor

Amidst Formula One’s lightning-fast cars, extravagant courses and electrifyingly intense races, one thing has stayed constant in the sport’s 70+ years of existence: male domination. However, on March 28, founder and CEO of British American Racing, Craig Pollack, announced that he is ready to change that.

Pollack revealed that he had been working on a special project for years: Formula Equal. Formula Equal is a prospective team made up of 50% women and 50% men from the drivers’ cockpits to the drawing boards. Pollack hopes for the team to join the 2026 F1 Grid.

Backed by many fans and F1 figures, including Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, the team’s main goal is to bring more women into the sport — making it more diverse and inclusive of female drivers and fans. 

“I’m super excited,” Miami Palmetto Senior High sophomore and racing fan Shira Rosenberg said. “I think it’ll completely change the sport because people will look at it in a different way. It’s not just a men’s sport.” 

The creation of a team with female drivers and staff does not come without its challenges. For over 40 years, no women have raced in an F1 World Championship Grand Prix.

“I think the greatest challenge would be for people to accept women being a part of the sport. I know a lot of guys will underestimate them and think they aren’t going to perform as well as anyone else,” Rosenberg said. “I think [fans’ reactions] are gonna start out negative because I feel like more F1 fans are men. But I think it’ll grow on them because [women] will perform just as well.”

As for the team’s chances of making the grid in the first place, many fans remain optimistic but believe F1 has a lot of work to do with recruiting female drivers.

“I think it’s definitely going to happen. I don’t know about ‘in the near future,’ though,” Rosenberg said. “If [F1] keeps going and if more women start to do it, I think [the team is a possibility].”

Taking this message to heart, F1 announced F1 Academy back in November 2022. F1 Academy, an all-female driver category, aims to encourage and train female racers to enter and climb the F1 pyramid. The championship will start on April 28 and continue into late October.