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F1 Academy Martí

F1 Academy: Martí on her first victory and F1 Academy so far

Nerea Martí is racing for Campos Racing in the augural F1 Academy season and she is the eighth race winner in the championship

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F1 Academy raced at Paul Ricard for the penultimate round of the 2023 season, which saw Nerea Martí take her first victory. 

Martí F1 Academy
Race winner Nerea MARTI, Second placed Abbi PULLING and Third placed Lola LOVINFOSSE celebrate after race one of the F1 Academy Series Round 6:Le Castellet at Circuit Paul Ricard. (Photo by Johnny Fidelin/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

The 2023 F1 Academy season is nearing its end with only one round left – the season finale at COTA in October. So far, over the first six rounds, the championship has been led by PREMA Racing’s Marta García. The Spaniard has taken six race wins; however, the championship fight is still on with Hamda Al Qubaisi and Lena Buhler in contention.

But another driver worth noting is fellow Spaniard, Nerea Martí. Martí has previously raced in single-seater championships, such as W Series, but now she’s racing for Campos Racing in F1 Academy.

After Round Six in Le Castellet, Martí became the eighth race winner of the season as she took her first F1 Academy victory in Race One of the weekend. Now, Martí is fourth in the Drivers’ Standings on 157 points, only 22 points behind H.Al Qubaisi in third.

FormulaNerds spoke to Martí after all three races about her weekend, F1 Academy season so far and her maiden win in the championship.

‘Really happy’ to have secured the victory

In F1 Academy, the weekend format sees the 15 drivers take part in two qualifying sessions. In Qualifying 1, Martí set a lap time that put her Campos Racing car P2. This meant that for Race 1, the Spaniard started on the front row and for Race 2, she began in sixth place. However, in Qualifying 2, Martí qualified in fifth, where she started Race 3.

In Race 1, Abbi Pulling was on pole but Martí managed to get a better start, taking the lead into Turn 1. From there, she extended her lead finishing the race in first. Her teammates, Lola Lovinfosse and Maite Cáceres also finished in the points, meaning Campos Racing secured some good points for the Team’s Championship.

Speaking on her victory, Martí told FormulaNerds:

“We had new tyres for the race, but we know that this track is difficult to overtake…so I tried to have a good start.

“I overtook Abbi [Pulling] on the first corner and then started to build a gap, which I did, just to keep the pace for the race.

“But really happy to win my first [race] in F1 Academy. Let’s see if we can do the same in Austin.”

With the season finale of F1 Academy being at COTA, the all-female series will be supporting Formula 1 that weekend. Martí, having raced in W Series, has experience of the American circuit and she told FormulaNerds that she can’t wait to race there again.

Martí said: “Really excited to be racing with F1 in Austin. I’ve already raced there last year, so I know from experience and I’m really excited to be there with them and to see what we can get from the weekend.”

Reflecting on her season as a whole

The 2023 F1 Academy season has seen a mixture of drivers on the podium and scoring points. Whilst Round 6 may have been Martí’s first win, it wasn’t her first time standing on the podium.

The Spaniard’s first podium came in Race 1 of the second round. Martí finished the race in Valencia in P2, followed by another podium in Race 3 of the weekend.

Across the whole season, she has only finished outside the points in three races. The remainder of the time has seen Martí be consistent in her performances, outscoring both her teammates.

Martí spoke to FormulaNerds about her season so far and performances in the first six rounds. She said:

“I’m really happy with the season. I think we were constant but we do need to fix [some other things], for example: in Monza, knowing in Race 2 we had a crash.

“Also, in Barcelona…I made some mistakes.”

Martí continued saying:

“Today, this weekend was really constant. P1, P5 and P5. So, very constant. I have things to improve but I’m generally happy because we were fast on the tracks and we also had pace in all the races.

“So we just put everything together and let’s see what we can do in Austin.”

Whilst Martí had a successful weekend at Paul Ricard, scoring 42 points in total, the weekend was challenging. With three races across each round, the F1 Academy drivers get a lot of track time.

However, for Round Six, all three races were on the same day – this was the first time this season. FormulaNerds asked Martí how challenging this was and she said:

“You have to be 100% for all the races this weekend because of three races in one day. So it’s tough physically. The same mentally, you have to be ready also to keep the concentration for the races.”

The season finale of F1 Academy is in 12 weeks time at COTA. That weekend will see two races on the Saturday and the final and third race on the Sunday.

Martí is in fourth, and can’t challenge García for the title. However, she can score some more points to challenge H.Al Qubaisi and Buhler. Until then, the F1 Academy drivers have a break between racing.

Headline Feature Image: GettyImages

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