Four Junior and Senior Drivers ready for Final Stage of FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars Programme


The 2023 edition of the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars programme is entering a crucial phase as four Senior and Junior drivers prepare to take part in the final assessment this month.

As part of a collaboration between the FIA, Ferrari Driver Academy, Iron Dames and ACI Scuola Federale, the winning Senior candidate will receive the opportunity of a potential FIA Formula 4 race seat next year, while the chosen Junior will get the chance to compete in an international Karting season.

Following a record 116 applications from drivers aged 12-16 in almost 50 countries, a group of 16 girls split evenly between the Senior and Junior brackets was selected for a five-day training camp at Italy’s Franciacorta circuit in September.

From there, the list of candidates was halved again to result in the four Senior and Junior finalists who will head to Maranello and become fully immersed in the world of the Ferrari Driver Academy.

All four Senior finalists are accomplished Karting competitors. Alba Hurup Larsen has featured in the Danish national championship, while Joanne Ciconte had a successful season in Australia’s KA3 Junior series and Domenika Arellano made waves in South America this year. Germany’s Mathilda Paatz contested the FIA Karting World Championship in the OK class and was one of 2022 FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars Junior finalists.

The latest intake of Junior contenders is also brimming with talent. Dutch racer Eva Dorrestijn stepped up to the IAME Euro Series racing in the X30 Junior class and Bianca Nagy has been scoring impressive results in Hungary. Annabelle Fairclough is the youngest-ever recipient of the British Women Racing Drivers Club Junior Gold Star award and Lithuanian prospect Vanesa Silkunaite has raced in the Champions of the Future series.

Senior candidates will be assessed from 13-17 November and will turn laps of the historic Fiorano circuit in FIA Formula 4 cars. FIA Women in Motorsport Commission President, Deborah Mayer and FIA CEO Natalie Robyn will be in attendance on the final day for this group.

The assessment for the Junior bracket will begin off-track at Ferrari’s Maranello headquarters on 22-24 November before moving to the Franciacorta Karting asphalt on 26-27 November.

In addition to being judged on their driving skills, finalists will have days away from the cockpit to undergo physical training and theory sessions. After careful consideration from the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars expert panel, one Senior and one Junior will be selected in December to receive an impressive support package for the 2024 season.

The other finalists will continue to be supported as part of a talent capsule that will provide them with racing career guidance and a range of driver development opportunities.

Now in its fourth edition, FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars aims to discover, nurture and promote female racing talent aged 12-16. It is designed to foster opportunities for young drivers to establish professional careers in motor sport and inspire the next generation of female athletes.

This year’s finalists will be keen to follow in the footsteps of past graduates including Doriane Pin, who starred in the FIA World Endurance Championship this year, and Ferrari Driver Academy member Maya Weug who raced in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine.


The final four Senior drivers are:

Alba Hurup Larsen, Denmark

Joanne Ciconte, Australia

Domenika Arellano, Ecuador

Mathilda Paatz, Germany


The final four Junior drivers are:

Bianca Nagy, Hungary

Eva Dorrestijn, Netherlands

Annabella Fairclough, United Kingdom

Vanesa Silkunaite, Lithuania


Deborah Mayer, FIA Women in Motorsport Commission President:This week marks the culmination of a remarkable journey as we launch the final phase of the 2023 FIA Girls on Track Rising Stars programme. As we bid farewell to this extraordinary initiative, I extend my heartfelt welcome and best wishes to the talented participants who have brilliantly qualified and are about to enjoy a unique experience and opportunity in their young careers. We are immensely grateful to our partners, Ferrari Driver Academy and Iron Dames who have supported us faithfully on this successful project. The positive impact of this programme on emerging female talent has been undeniable, both for having been the starting point for the careers of today's top-level pilots, and for having raised awareness of the possibility for women to realize their career dreams.  While we regret its conclusion, we are committed to rising new initiatives to nurture and empower the next generation of motorsport stars.”