This season, Maya Weug is the only female driver in the ADAC Formula 4 field. This is a familiar situation for the Dutch driver, who is not at all bothered by it. In an interview, the 18-year-old discusses her races in the ADAC’s high-speed school, the support she receives in the Ferrari Driver Academy, and her home. Weug was born in Spain, her mother comes from Belgium and her father is Dutch.
Maya, you contested your home race in Zandvoort: How was that for you?
That was a very nice feeling, as my family was there. It is always great to see familiar faces at the racetrack. I love Circuit Zandvoort, it is a cool and challenging track. Any little mistake is punished immediately there. Despite the modifications, it remains a real old-school circuit.
This season, you have lined up in ADAC Formula 4 at Spa-Francorchamps and in Zandvoort. How are you finding the championship?
I really like the series. You come across a lot of very nice people in the paddock. In Spa-Francorchamps and Zandvoort, we drive at two current Formula 1 circuits, which is very important for your future career. I enjoy these circuits hugely. All things considered, it is a great package.
You are the first woman to be accepted into the Ferrari Driver Academy. How proud are you of that achievement?
Being part of the famous Ferrari Driver Academy is simply unbelievable. The programme is really helping me develop as a driver, because we learn a lot and pick up quite a bit on the way.
In which areas do you receive support from Ferrari?
All the drivers receive support both on and off the track. I spend a lot of time in the gym and prepare for the races with strength and cardio training. There are also a lot of meetings and analysis before and after the weekends. This allows me to keep on improving all the time.
This season, you are the only woman in the starting field and are up against the boys. How do you find that?
I don’t actually think about it that much. After all, I have been familiar with this scenario for many years. When we go head to head on the track, the conditions are the same for all of us. It makes absolutely no difference that I am the only female driver.
You were born in Spain, your mother is Belgian and your father is from the Netherlands. Where do you feel at home?
That is hard to say, as I feel at home in all three countries. I still have many friends in Spain. My grandparents live in the Netherlands, so that is a bit of home for me. Belgium is also nice. I currently live in Italy, near Maranello, which is better for the Ferrari Driver Academy. I also speak Spanish, Dutch, Italian and English.
Your helmet is red, white and blue: Is there a specific reason for this?
I have had these colours on my helmet since my time in karting. It obviously also represents the Netherlands, but I like the design. Blue and red are my favourite colours.
What are your goals in motorsport?
As is probably the case for every other driver, I want to make it into Formula 1, even if that is a pretty ambitious goal. I have been dreaming of that since I was a child, and it is what I work for every day. I try to take the next steps as quickly as possible, and to learn a lot.