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AUSTRALIAN racing driver Joanne Ciconte is only 15 years of age but has already started to prepare for a spot in the MAs with the dream of becoming Australia’s first female F1 driver.

If selected for the academy, she will compete on the world stage in F4 open-wheel racing amongst the world’s most talented female racers.

She said: “I felt really proud to be an Aussie there and was happy to represent the country in a global competition like this.

Joanne Ciconte

“Racing can be described as a sport where men and women can compete together on equal terms.

“To have the opportunity to compete in formula racing has been an amazing experience and a significant step towards my goal of becoming Australia’s first female Formula 1 driver.”

Ms Ciconte was introduced to the world of racing when her father, Robert Ciconte, took nine-year-old Joanne and her younger brother Cosimo, to the local go-karting club in Melbourne.

She has never looked back, starting to race in competitions within four months of discovering the sport and quickly becoming one of Australia’s top karters.

She was F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo’s Grid Kid in 2019, aged 10, then in 2023, won the Pink Plate title in the KA3 Junior light class of the Australian Karting Competition followed by multiple outright state championship podiums.

She was then invited to the Girls On Track Rising Stars program in Franciacorta, Italy, where the shortlisted drivers from all over the world (with 115 entries) were assessed through a series of on-track and off-track tests.

In November 2023 Joanne was selected for the semi-finals of the FDA (Ferarri Drivers Academy) Girls On Track Rising Stars Competition and was a finalist in the final race with the fastest lap time at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track.

In preparation with Girls on Track, Joanne joined forces with well-known Italian racing management Pro-Racing under the guidance of drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Marco Cicoci.

Mr Fisichella said she has been given a program focused on F4 in 2024.

“We are confident this will lead her to compete for important positions in the F1 Academy as early as 2025,” he said.

She has now started the journey in preparation for a spot in the 2025 F1 Academy.

If selected, Joanne will compete on the world stage in F4 open-wheel racing amongst the most talented female racers from all over the globe. Donations for Joanne’s F1 campaign can be forwarded to the Australian Sports Foundation.

By Neil Dowling

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