Sophia Flörsch: Formula 3 racer at IAA MOBILITY

Sophia Flörsch has a dream. The professional racing driver currently competes in the FIA Formula 3 Championship and aims to one day be the first woman to compete in Formula 1.

Started karting at the age of 4

"I started karting when I was 4 years old. I was European Easykart Champion at 9 and P9 at the World Finals at 10. I always had a lot of fun, but it was just a hobby until I was 11 or 12. But when you start celebrating success and winning medals, you want more," says the 22-year-old in our interview. "I was always inspired by the competition. I watched the F1 races on TV, of course. Knowing how fast I am, my goal became more and more to race in F1, to win races and to fight for the world championship. This is not a dream, but my personal goal and it involves a lot of sweat and risk.

Sophia's idols: Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel

Even as a child, Flörsch watched Formula 1 races and her idols were Michael Schumacher and later Sebastian Vettel. At the time, there were hardly any women in the motorsport industry, but she cleverly tries to circumvent any prejudices she encounters. "Motorsport is a man's business" - Flörsch has successfully fought against this narrative since the beginning of her career. "I've been in this sport for 18 years now, and of course I've experienced prejudice here and there. I think it depends on how you deal with it. Such prejudices have always motivated me even more to prove it to others," says Flörsch.

"As a woman in a male-dominated world, you have to be a little more confident than usual, and then of course you have to have the right people around you to support you and give you the confidence to go ahead and prove it to all the doubting voices." In Flörsch's case, these people were her parents, especially when her career just commenced. In other ways, too, she believes that parents have a huge influence in setting the course for a career - and not just for financial reasons: "I think that, when you are a child, you are initially confused about what sport you want to do. It is only when your parents take you to the tennis court or the go-kart track that the doors open. It would be nice if more parents didn't just take their sons to the go-kart track, but also thought about their daughters and didn't rule them out just because they think motorsport is only for men.

Sophia Flörsch role model for young female racers

Her advice to young girls in motorsport: "Work hard. Be disciplined. Don't let prejudices get you down if you enjoy what you're doing. No matter what’s the cause or profession. Flörsch is even more pleased that she is already seeing significant progress in this aspect: "After all, the sport encompasses many different professions, and even though motorsport is still so male-dominated, I'm meeting more and more female engineers at the races. This, of course, makes me very happy.

As an ambassador for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, Flörsch herself is part of a children's sports sponsorship program that, among other things, gives young girls the chance to get their first taste of motorsport. Flörsch has proven in many ways just how successful a woman can be in motorsport - whether it's podium finishes in Formula 4, top 10s at the 24 Hours of Le Mans or, most recently, becoming the first woman to score points in FIA Formula 3 at the legendary Spa circuit in Belgium. In addition, she is a member of Alpine's Formula 1 Junior Team and receives a lot of support in her goal to become a Formula 1 racer

Sophia Flörsch experiences automotive innovation up close every day.

And that's despite a serious accident in 2018 almost ruined her dream. "Sure, a spinal injury is never fun and it certainly changed me a bit as a person, but giving up racing was never an option. I don't drive any differently today and I don't behave any differently on the track than I did before. Quite the opposite: I enjoy every meter I drive on the track.

Flörsch also experiences automotive innovations up close and personal every day. Hybrid drives in particular are very important, and Formula E has now brought electric mobility to the motorsport. Biofuels are also of interest to Flörsch. "At Le Mans last year, we ran on 100% biofuels and I didn't notice any difference. In Formula 3 we have 55% sustainable fuel and from 2026 we will have 100% biofuels. This is a technology that I think can still take an exciting development.

Sophia Flörsch at IAA MOBILITY

Flörsch is genuinely excited about IAA MOBILITY. "I love it when people from all over the world in this industry come together." On September 7th, she will offer the audience an intriguing insight into the motorsport industry at 12:30 PM and share her experience of making a mark as a woman in the male-dominated world of motorsports.

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