Meet Sophia Floersch – the only woman driver in F3 this season who has F1 dreams
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Sophia Floersch was just 17 when she miraculously survived a horror crash at the 2018 Macau Grand Prix.
The German driver was rushed to hospital after shattering her spine in a terrifying 170mph collision – with her car flung over the safety barriers in sickening scenes. Fortunately, Floersch was stabilised following an emergency 11-hour operation to repair her fractured spine and she was soon able to return home with thanks to the remarkable work of her hospital surgeons.
But incredibly, it took the unfazed Floersch just months to recover before she was back at the wheel of a car as she pined for the feeling of exhilaration back on the track. Unsurprisingly, her fearless desire to return to motorsport was recognised with the "World Comeback of the Year award" at the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards in 2020.
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And five years on from her near-fatal crash, she is gearing up for a return to F3 as the only woman on the grid.
Floersch – who grew up idolising four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel – has signed for PHM Racing by Charouz this season to compete in F3 for the first time in three years.
She has recently spent time competing at Le Mans 24 Hours and the World Endurance Championship, but still dreams of a place on the F1 grid and was boosted by her addition to Alpine's Driver Academy in conjunction with her F3 switch.
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"Joining the Alpine Academy is an honour and a major opportunity in my career," Floersch said after she was announced in the French team's roster.
"I have great ambitions and I am sure by applying the knowledge and expertise from Alpine, it will only help me grow. I can’t wait to start this new chapter and represent the Alpine brand on the global stage."
Floersch confirmed last year that she is still ready to "pursue the goal" of F1 as she hopes to become the first female driver to reach the pinnacle of motorsport since Lella Lombardi in 1976.
“There are people who say: ‘You’re a woman, you’re not going to make it,’” the trailblazer explained in a rare interview with CNN three years ago. “But in the end, this just motivates myself even more."
The inspiring Floersch has already overcome what could have been a career-ending moment, and has proved she will not be perturbed by the doubters as she looks to make her mark against a fiercely competitive grid of F3 drivers in Bahrain this weekend.
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