Sophia Floersch has set her sights on competing in Formula One “in the next three to five years” after recovering from a spinal fracture.
The 22-year-old currently drives for PHM Racing by Charouz in Formula Three, and has also taken part in endurance events such as Le Mans.
Floersch’s F1 aspirations are all the more remarkable given she broke her spine in a horrific crash at the 2018 Macau Grand Prix, aged 17.
The German driver’s incredible return to the sport saw her awarded Laureus World Comeback of the Year in 2020, and earlier this year she joined Alpine’s Race(H)er programme, which aims to increase diversity.
Speaking at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Paris, she said: “I always dreamt of reaching F1 and now Alpine being behind me actually having the same goals and a clear way of how they want to get there with a woman makes it even better.
“It’s obviously not just on the education side a big plus for me, but financially it’s a big help which I need in my position.
“I think at some point there will be a female driver in F1. In the end, when you’re all in the car, you’re all just driving to win and you don’t really care about gender, or at least that’s (the case) for me.”
She continued: “Nothing is easy in life and especially not motorsports. It’s difficult. In this sport there are many different things that need to fall in place – not just for a woman, but for a man.
“I hope to reach it (F1) in the next three to five years but in the end I think I’m trying to look year to year.”
Floersch feels she has improved as a driver, with help around the more technical aspects of her trade, since joining Alpine in February.
“In general, especially tyre management, tyre warm-up procedure and so on… how to work with the team as well, because it’s a complete new team. We have learned a lot together,” she said.
“That’s where they helped me a lot and also tried to advise which directions to go.
“In the end, it’s really positive to be back, because that’s what I’ve wanted for the past two years, and for next year we’ll try to make the move to F2.”
:: Sophia Floersch was speaking at the Laureus World Sports Awards. Find out more at www.laureus.com