5 storylines to watch out for as F1 ACADEMY returns to action in Miami

F1 ACADEMY Content Editor

Hannah Prydderch
MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 03: Maya Weug of Netherlands and PREMA Racing (64) looks on in the garage

F1 ACADEMY heads stateside for Round 2 of the 2024 campaign, with the majority of the field preparing to take on the streets of Miami for the first time.

It’s advantage Abbi Pulling after the Alpine driver took control of the Drivers’ Standings last time out, but she’ll face stiff competition from title rivals Maya Weug and Doriane Pin. With 56 points to play for, the battles are about to heat up and there’ll be lots to keep an eye on as the action unfolds in the Sunshine State.

Can Pulling and Weug’s consistency continue?

The two most consistent drivers of Round 1, Pulling and Weug head the Drivers’ Standings, with the Alpine driver sitting 11 points clear at the top. After her experiences last season, Pulling entered 2024 with a new mindset - more determined, focused and resilient and the change clearly paid off in Jeddah.

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Promoted to her first victory in Race 2, the Briton has more silverware in her sights and her previous experience around this venue could give her the leg up on many of her rivals.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 2: Abbi Pulling of Great Britain and BWT Alpine F1 Team during previews ahead

Pulling is heading into this weekend as one of the favourites

Weug is also hunting down victory after two podium finishes in Jeddah. Whilst her one-lap pace looks promising, her race pace last time out held her back from battling outright with Pin and Pulling. However, the Ferrari driver looked competitive during in-season testing and given her extensive single-seater knowledge, Weug should be able to get up to speed quickly in Miami.

Pin determined to bounce back after Jeddah error

A dominant force during the season opener, a post-race penalty cost her the win in Race 2 and remains the only blot in Pin’s copybook so far. Blisteringly quick in Qualifying, she seized both pole positions by seven- and sixth-tenths respectively.

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With one victory already to her name in F1 ACADEMY, the Mercedes driver will be hungry to avenge her previous error and overhaul the 12-point deficit to Pulling.

Block’s search for maiden points

Lia Block’s journey from rallying to F1 ACADEMY debut in the space of three months has been a remarkable feat for the Williams driver. With the pressure of her first weekend behind her, Block’s attentions now turn to getting points on the board sooner rather than later.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 03: Doriane Pin of France and PREMA Racing (28) drives on track during

Pin is amongst the favourites as F1 Academy gets set to take on the streets of Miami

Having been on course for points in Jeddah Race 1, the American is building the speed and race craft needed to fight it out in the pack at this early stage.

Although her inexperience in single seaters could put her on the backfoot at the start in Miami, her progression will only continue with more confidence and track time under her belt. Her prospect of points could be an outside chance, but considering what she’s shown so far, you’d be amiss to count her out.

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Campos targeting wins after valuable testing time

Sitting third in the Team Standings, Campos Racing were satisfied with how they opened the season, with a podium for Nerea Martí and points hauls for Chloe Chambers and Carrie Schreiner after their gamble to only run one set of tyres in Qualifying benefitted them on race day.

Zandvoort in-season testing seemed to come at the perfect time for the Spanish squad, allowing them to embed their learnings and focus on extracting more of their potential. With both Martí and home hero Chambers having previously run in Miami, Campos have had valuable references to aid the preparations and their Team Manager Gabriela Parra is confident that they can fight for victory.

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Will experience pay off when adapting to an unfamiliar Miami?

Out of the 16-car field, 11 drivers and all five teams are getting their first taste of the Miami International Autodrome. Pulling, Chambers, McLaren’s Bianca Bustamante, Red Bull Ford driver Emely De Heus and Martí have all tackled the track back in 2022, with Tommy Hilfiger driver Martí scoring a podium.

Unlike Jeddah, the field have had no testing around the American circuit, so making full use of the two 40-minute Free Practice sessions could be a deciding factor to sorting the pecking order this weekend.

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