While women’s sport is gradually gaining visibility, Formula 1 remains a discipline considered almost exclusively reserved for men. This Thursday, Alpine F1 Team unveiled its plan to make its team more feminine with the desire to have more and more female engineers, technicians and also drivers. You have to go back to 1976 to find the trace of the only woman to have taken part in a Grand Prix: Lella Lombardi remains to this day the only driver to have scored points in the general classification. As for the last woman to have taken part in qualifying, it was Giovanna Amati, in 1992. Thirty years later, the French manufacturer intends to make its revolution and grant a greater place to women, through a series ambitious measures.

In its program, the F1 team thus indicates that it has set itself the objective of going from 12% of employees to 30% within five years. Claire Mesnier, vice-president of human resources at Alpine, explains to Point this desire to move the lines: “We tried to understand why this project had not yet been set up: it is mainly because of prejudices social. For example, the Estaca engineering school specializing in automobiles has only 8% female students. So we are going very far. To encourage a new generation of women to turn to F1, Claire Mesnier wants to get closer to talent, from an early age. “We saw that there were extremely talented profiles to seek out. On a voluntary basis, each woman in the Alpine group will be able to mentor a middle school or high school girl. »

Introducing Rac(H)er, an ambitious programme for equal opportunities in motorsport and the automotive industry.

And besides, why should women be less qualified to drive race cars than men? A reflection that the French manufacturer wants to put on the front of the stage. “Women and men are not equal in many aspects but in the end, we have very few statistics on women who drive at the top level. We want to deconstruct preconceptions and stereotypes, we want to have the best driver in our car. We have to push this meritocracy, ”explains Claire Mesnier. In this perspective, significant financial resources will be deployed. Thus, the education and training of future drivers, from karting to F1 via the other racing categories, will be reinforced.

The racing team won’t be the only one to be more feminized. Four leaders will also enter the executive committee of Alpine, in order to obtain real parity. For Laurent Rossi, President of Alpine, this initiative will dust off the still too “paternalistic” environment of Formula 1. “We are all guilty of having prejudices. The system and all the architecture that lead to the elite of this discipline have not favored the emergence of women. It’s a very structured sport, almost no driver comes out of the classic courses. We want to take everything back to the base, by detecting the girl drivers in karting as soon as possible. At this level, we do not detect their physical potential, but above all their mental capacities and race intelligence. »