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Sophia Floersch Joins Alpine Academy for 2023 Season



Sophia Floersch Joins Alpine

Just two days after the team revealed its list of eight drivers, Sophia Floersch has been included in the team’s driver academy.

As part of its Rac(H)er initiative, the Alpine Formula 1 team has launched a new karting program to seek out and nurture young female drivers.

In June of last year, Alpine revealed its Rac(H)er program with the goal of significantly raising the representation of women in its F1 team and automotive industry, as well as inducting more female drivers into its Academy development program.

The program will incorporate a substantial research component that pledged to “deconstruct stereotypes” by conducting scientific research and definitively debunking all pseudo-scientific barriers to female competition in F1, including fitness and cognitive factors.

For its 2023 F1 car launch, Alpine chose to devote approximately one-third of the event to its Rac(H)er program, featuring a recap of the initiative as well as several announcements.

During the event, the Alpine team unveiled a brand-new all-female karting program that will concentrate on nurturing young female karters aged 10 to 13, as stated by Rac(H)er program leader, Claire Mesnier.

The young female karters in the Alpine program will be overseen by ADD, a management company that has previously worked with prominent drivers such as Lando Norris from McLaren during the early stages of their careers.


In addition to being under the guidance of ADD, the female karting drivers will also have access to Alpine’s Human Performance Centre, which includes highly specialized training equipment and training regimens tailored for drivers.


At the launch event, six young Alpine karters from various regions in Europe and Australia were introduced on stage: Aiva Anagnostiadis, Angelina Proenca, Chiara Battig, Lisa Billard, Maria Chiara Nardelli, and Kaur Kera Sukhmani.

Sophia Floersch, an accomplished female racing driver who has been competing in sportscar racing (and the DTM in 2021) in recent years, has been enlisted by Alpine to bolster its driver lineup.

Mesnier expressed the need to “identify and nurture the talent for future champions” in reference to the Rac(H)er program’s focus on developing young female drivers.

In 2023, Alpine will provide support to six young female karters

Mesnier also stated that in order to broaden the pool of talent and expand opportunities for young female drivers, the team needed to evaluate female drivers currently competing in the sport and identify the most promising among them to potentially join the team.

Mesnier shared that she met Sophia on her 22nd birthday a few months ago, and despite being a woman, it was immediately apparent that Sophia was focused solely on driving as soon as they started discussing the matter, much like a driver who had just put on their helmet and gloves.

Mesnier drew a comparison between Sophia and a current Formula 1 driver, whom she declined to name, stating that Sophia possessed similar characteristics to the driver in terms of her attitude and approach to racing.


Mesnier praised Sophia’s remarkable physical strength, unwavering self-confidence, and undeniable potential to become a world champion in the future.

According to Mesnier, it was an easy decision for the team to provide Sophia with financial and sporting support, treating her in the same manner they would with male drivers.

Mesnier emphasized that above all, Sophia was a driver striving to secure a place in the sport, working hard to advance her career and fulfill her passion for racing.

Mesnier expressed her delight in announcing that Sophia Floersch would be joining the team’s F1 academy, adding that they were extremely proud to have her as a member of their program.

Sophia Floersch was widely regarded as one of the most promising young female talents on the path to F1 a few years back, following a remarkable performance in Ginetta Juniors where she won two races in the first half of the season. Unfortunately, due to a lack of funding, her season was cut short.

Despite the setback, Sophia continued to progress in her racing career, moving up to Formula 4, Formula Regional, and eventually, Formula 3. However, during her debut weekend at the 2018 Macau Grand Prix, she suffered a terrifying crash which resulted in a fractured spine. Nonetheless, she persevered and eventually returned to racing.

In 2020, Floersch competed in FIA F3 on the support bill for F1 with Campos Racing, but unfortunately did not score any points. Subsequently, she transitioned to sportscar racing and participated in the DTM for the following year.


In 2023, Sophia Floersch will make her return to FIA F3, driving for the PHM Racing by Charouz team, with the support of Alpine in her first year with the team.

Prior to Sophia Floersch’s addition to the team, Alpine’s academy already included one female driver in Abbi Pulling, who secured a podium finish in the W Series. After spending a year as an “affiliate driver” in 2021, Abbi will move up to Alpine’s main academy.

Abbi Pulling is set to compete in the newly established all-female Formula 4-spec junior series known as the F1 Academy this year, which is run in partnership with single-seater racing team Carlin.

As part of its Rac(H)er program, Alpine revealed that it has enlisted two prominent figures to serve as ambassadors and mentors: two-time Olympic boxer Nicola Adams and Zara Rutherford, who is the youngest female pilot to have flown solo around the world.

According to Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi, the Rac(H)er program is an essential component of the team’s ongoing pursuit of performance excellence, with the aim of transforming the industry by facilitating genuine change and establishing equal and equitable opportunities for a wide variety of human talents.

Rossi praised the talents of Sophia and Abbi, citing them as prime examples of the types of skills that the Rac(H)er program seeks to nurture. He expressed his pleasure at Sophia joining their program, and it is an honor for them to welcome Abbi to their Academy. He has no doubt that both drivers will make valuable contributions to Alpine.

Sophia Floersch Joins Alpine Sophia Floersch Joins Alpine Sophia Floersch Joins Alpine



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