Sophia Florsch’s return to Formula 3 has been subsidised by the championship due to the financial difficulties experienced by female drivers when raising racing budgets, says the series’ CEO Bruno Michel.
Florsch last raced in Formula 3 in 2020 with Campos before switching to sportscar racing in the World Endurance Championship and DTM. It was announced recently that she will be returning to the series this year with PHM Racing by Chrarouz.
The F2 and F3 feeder championships are notoriously expensive for the junior drivers to compete in, as they look to progress to the top level of motorsport in Formula 1.
Bruno Michel also heads the new all-female F1 Academy as its General Manager, which aims to provide an entry point for female drivers into the single-seater ladder.
F1 is directly supporting the F1 Academy series, subsidising each car with a budget of €150,000, while the competing drivers will pay the same.
“That’s what we’re trying to do with F1 Academy, helping young drivers to find budgets,” Michel said. “We subsidised the budgets ourselves quite a bit.
“It’s true that it’s not easy to find budgets at the moment, and I hope this is going change as well. That’s why we’re trying to help them as much as we can.
“This is why we are helping Sophia as well in Formula 3 this season.
“It’s more difficult, and a little surprising, for female drivers to find money than I would have thought and I’m really happy that we can contribute to that to help them to complete their budgets to allow them to go racing.”
When asked to clarify his comment relating to assisting Florsch, Michel replied: “We’re helping her slightly with her budget.”
The 2023 F3 season will get underway next week from the Bahrain International Circuit.