2024 F1 Academy Miami preview

02nd May 2024
Simon Ostler

F1 Academy returns this weekend for round two of the 2024 season, with 16 of the world's best female racing drivers set to light up the streets of Miami with another hard-fought weekend of racing.


Last time out in Saudi Arabia, Mercedes driver Doriane Pin cemented her status as the star of the field, dominating proceedings with double pole position before taking the chequered flag in both races.

Abbi Pulling arrives in Miami as the championship leader however, courtesy of a major error by Pin as she inexplicably failed to acknowledge the end of the race, completing an extra lap at racing speed before realising her mistake. It was a misdemeanour that saw her struck with a 20-second time penalty and demoted to ninth in the classification for race two.

Ferrari’s Waya Weug sits second in the standings after a solid weekend in Jeddah saw he come away with two podium finishes.


F1 Academy drivers and teams

Nine drivers return for a second season in F1 Academy, with six new additions to the grid. Hamda Al Qubaisi, Amna Al Qubaisi, Bianca Bustamante, Jessica Edgar, Emely de Heus and Carrie Schreiner all won F1 Academy races in 2023.

The Prema, ART, Rodin, MP Motorsport and Campos teams will be running three cars each. New for 2024, the F1 Academy grid features ten cars supported by the F1 teams themselves. Each team has nominated a driver to race as its representative, many of them coming from the various young driver academies.

Five cars are supported by F1 Academy’s various major partners, Puma, Tommy Hilfiger, Charlotte Tilbury, Red Bull, and American Express, each sporting their own unique branded liveries.

Who is F1 Academy's wildcard driver in Miami?

On chosen weekends, the grid will also be opened up to a wildcard entrant, allowing for a maximum of 16 drivers, with Prema running the additional car. 

This weekend that wildcard spot will be taken by 23-year-old American Courtney Crone, who has spent the past four years racing in sportscar racing. She returns to single-seater competition for the first time since 2020 after making a name for herself in LMP3 machinery and most recently racing in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo championship.


F1 Academy session format

The F1 Academy weekend will vary slightly from weekend to weekend. Some races feature two Free Practice sessions, others just one. In Miami, there are two scheduled  40-minute practice sessions on Friday.

A 30-minute qualifying session follows, which will set the grid for both races. Race one is set according to the drivers’ quickest lap times, but they will need to complete several hot laps, because the grid for race two is set according to their second fastest times. Each race runs for 30 minutes.

What is the F1 Academy points system?

The old saying that points are only given out on Sunday doesn’t apply here, because the drivers who achieve pole position in race one and two will each score two points. If the same driver takes pole for both races, they bag four points.

On race day, F1 Academy follows the same points system as F1, with the top ten drivers receiving 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1 respectively. The driver with the fastest lap takes an additional point providing they finish in the top ten.

When can I watch F1 Academy in Miami?

F1 Academy in Miami kicks off with the first free practice session at 16:00 UK time (11:00 local). Free practice two follows later in the day at 21:20 (16:20). Qualifying kicks off the action on Saturday at 16:25 (11:25) to set the grids for both races. Race one gets underway at 20:05 (15:05) on Saturday, race two rounds off the weekend on Sunday at 19:05 (14:05).

UK viewers can watch F1 Academy in its entirety on Sky Sports F1 in 2024. Every session will also be streamed live on the F1 Academy YouTube channel.

Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.

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