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The 13-year-old kart racer will be thoroughly vetted as a contender for Team Ferrari for a future F4 season
Mumbai’s Aashi Hanspal has been shortlisted for the Federation Internationale de L'Automobile (FIA) Girls on Track - Rising Stars Project, the FMSCI as announced on Sunday. Thirteen-year-old Aashi has been selected along with 19 others in the age group of 12-16 out of 70 entries from five continents. The FIA, the world body for motorsports, said the training-cum-selection process would entail four rounds of competition.
Round one will start with a ‘shoot-out’ at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France on October 12 and 13. The top 12 selected here will then undergo a karting-focussed training camp at the same venue. The top eight from the karting camp will then switch up to an F4-based camp, again at Circuit Paul Ricard, to be held on November 3 and 4.
Finally, the top four from the F4 camp will get a chance to attend the prestigious Ferrari Driver Academy Training Camp, which will tentatively be held between November 9 and 13, at the Ferrari-owned Fiorano circuit at Maranello, Italy, the victor of which will get a chance to join Team Ferrari as a driver.
Aashi recorded five podium finishes in her maiden national karting season last year, and was conferred the Outstanding Women in Motorsports Award by FMSCI for her podium placings. She’s currently being coached by eight-time national car racing champion Rayomand Banajee at the Rayo Racing Academy in Mumbai.
Sita Raina, chairperson of FMSCI’s own Women in Motorsports Commission, said, “This is a great moment for women in Indian Motorsport. Aashi has shown her mettle during the last season and has the potential to become a future star.”
"Should you be successful, you will join our training camps, and potentially have the opportunity to become (Team Ferrari’s) first ever female driver obtaining a partnership agreement with the Ferrari Driver Academy, including participation in an FIA Formula 4 racing season,” said Michele Mouton, president, the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, said in her letter to Aashi, adding, “The dates have been chosen to enable the shortlisted girls to travel from different parts of the world, despite the current travel restrictions due to the coronavirus crisis.”