British racing driver Jessica Hawkins has become the first woman to complete a Formula One driving test for almost five years.
The 28-year-old completed the test for the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One (AMF1) team in their AMR21 car at the Hungaroring in Hungary, the British team announced on Tuesday.
Hawkins, who joined AMF1 Team in 2021 as Driver Ambassador, says: "I want to say a big thank you to everyone at AMF1 Team for having the trust in me, believing in me, and for giving me this opportunity. It's taken me every bit of blood, sweat and tears to get here. When I first heard it might be a possibility, I could hardly believe it."
She went on to say that one of the toughest parts of her new role was keeping it a secret!
"I've had to keep it secret for months now - which was pretty hard! It's been absolutely worth it and it's given me really valuable insight," she adds. "Nothing will compare to the acceleration and braking of a Formula One car and, having looked at the data, I'm really proud of my performance. Getting to drive the AMR21 has been a dream come true for me and one I've been ready to fulfil for a long time. I'll keep pushing for more and, in the process, I want to inspire other women and let them know they should follow their dream no matter what it is."
Jessica began preparatory simulator work at the team's Silverstone base in 2022 ahead of her Formula One test debut. Last week all that hard work came to fruition as Jessica completed a lifetime ambition to become the first woman to test a Formula One car since 2018. She completed several runs in the AMR21, sharing the car with the team's Test and Reserve Driver, Felipe Drugovich. The test represents a significant moment in Jessica's role with AMF1 Team and offers valuable perspective as she prepares to support the team's entry into the all-female F1 Academy series in 2024.