The main category of world motorsport, F1, has bumped five women in its seven-decade history. None of them was Brazilian.
There is no direct way to win space on the desired grid. But from next year, 23-year-old Bruna Tomaselli from Santa Catarina will be closer to her big dream. She will represent the country in the W-Series, the world’s first single-seater category exclusively for women.
The construction of the championship in 2019 is part of the work that the International Automobile Federation has taken up to increase women’s participation on the tracks.
In 2021, the eight stages of the second edition of the Women’s Championship will be played in the GPs of France, Austria, United Kingdom, Hungary, Belgium, Holland, USA and Mexico, as well as F2 and earlier, with the F1 calendar. For F3.
Bruna said in an interview, “The W-series was first seen well, with a lot of visibility and now racing with F1 is going to be even bigger” Leaf. “We will be able to show our work for F1 Circus, which is what everyone wants.”
The partnership between the categories was celebrated by seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. “When we talk about diversity, they usually think that we talk about more people of color. But it is necessary to include more women as well,” he said. “It’s a male-dominated game, and it needs to change.”
Pilots have longed for this change. Bruna was not even born when a woman last entered the category in 1992. That year, Giovanna Amati had tried to qualify for three races, at a time when all pilots who did not participate in qualification training attended the GP.
The Italian did not advance any race before being replaced in the Bramham squad by Britton Damon Hill. Only two women, also Italian, were on the starting grid: Maria Teresa de Philippis and Laila Lombardi, the latter being the only ones who scored in the category.
“Even some of the women who made for F1 inspired us to get there one day,” says Bruna. “And how it happened so long ago also inspires us.”
This motivation did not shake it during 2020, when the W-series debut was disappointed by the new coronovirus epidemic. The second season has been postponed until 2021.
“I was so scared at first [da pandemia]Mainly because I wouldn’t have a championship, “the driver says.” But I soon resumed my training and managed to keep up with my physical activities. As I live in a small town, the gym was practically not closed, but of course, they were very careful ”.
Born in Kaobi, a township in eastern Santa Catarina, about 650 km from Florianapolis, Bruna split her time between training in a simulator and a long-term racing championship between the Empire Endurance Brazil brawl, in which she became the first woman to win. became. A stage, the fifth and peninsular race of the year, was held in Curitiba.
During the first semester, Brazil did some training with an F3 car, but spent most of the time practicing on the simulator – first, on a model that he bought, later, on equipment sent by the organization of the W-series.
“How to train with cars in the category, when everyone has collective training sessions together, so I have to train a lot in the simulator to get to know the tracks well. I don’t know if I race on any circuit Going to put in, so it’s going to be a challenge. ” more.”
It was in a virtual way that she had the first contact with rivals she would face in the W-series. Like F1, the only category of women promoted an online competition for drivers. Some circuits had 10 stages that would be part of the 2021 calendar.
With 20 contestants on the grid, Bruna finished the championship in 17th place, a performance that, according to her, delayed delivery of her equipment.
“The category sent everyone a similar simulator. But I arrived a little bit after the start of the championship. The first race I did with each other that I have”, he said. “But it was fun and it helped us keep in touch.”
When the competition actually starts in France on 26 June, such problems should not affect anyone. The promise of the W-series is to hold a championship with equal circumstances for all, especially in relation to cars. They will be mechanically identical and undergo an inspection before the race to remove any technical advantage that a team may develop.
This would be an unprecedented situation for Bruna Tomaselli, who won her first kart at the age of seven and a career encouraged by her father.
From 2017 to 2019, she participated in USF 2000, one of Indy’s accessibility categories in the United States. To qualify to compete in the W-Series, she was first nominated by former Brazilian driver Bia Figueiredo, then had to send her competition history and eventually, she went through a selective.
The 2021 grid will include 12 remnants of the first version and eight new pilots including Bruna.
At the end of the competition, the eight best places will get the points that help them to get the super license they need to drive in F1. It takes 40 points to reach the main motorsport category, and the W-Series champion will add 15.
The only South American on the grid, Bruna Tomaselli no longer wants to think about it. At the moment, you want to run again. “I’m really looking forward to the season starting soon.”