Underneath the helmet and overalls, few people can imagine who is inside the number 16 Formula 4 Brazil car. It’s a pilot. Aurelia Nobels, who was born in the United States and has lived in Brazil since she was 3, is the only woman on the grid, which has 16 cars. In addition to the base category around here, she is in the final stage of the dispute for a place at the Ferrari Drivers Academy at the FIA Girls on Track — Rising Stars.
In an interview with R7, Aurelia says that her passion for motorsport came from her father, Kevin Nobels, who has followed Formula 1 for years. At the age of 10, the girl who already dreams of higher flights in her career began to ride karts with her brother and, the very first time, fell in love with the sport.
From karting, the young woman, now 15 years old, started looking for teams to compete on the tracks and, in 2022, she joined the rookie Formula 4 Brazil by TMG Racing. With her talent, Aurelia was selected by the FIA (Federation Internationale de Automobilismo) to compete in the FIA Girls on Track — Rising Star. The competition rewards the winner with a place at the Ferrari Drivers Academy, which has Charles Leclerc, also number 16 in F1, its main exponent.
The first stage of the selective took place in France in August of this year, at the Paul Ricard circuit. There, the pilot was selected for the final stage, which will take place in November, in Maranello, at the team’s headquarters, in Italy.
“I’m certainly very happy, it’s the beginning of everything, but it’s already an achievement! I’m working very hard to get ready and give my best in the final, because I’m here to win”, said the finalist, in good Portuguese , without any accent.
Although the opportunity is exclusive to women, Aurelia is used to being one of the few female drivers to compete in motorsport competitions. In 2020, at the Kart World Championship that took place in Portugal, she was the only woman among 180 drivers, but she does not hide the joy of seeing that female participation on the tracks is increasing.
“I always say that it doesn’t change whether you’re a woman or a man. He closed the visor, there’s no difference: it’s the same for everyone”, he commented.
Even if there is no difference for her, Aurelia reinforces that the men in the category can be annoyed with her overtaking.
Aurelia was born in the United States, but has Belgian parents and has lived in Brazil for over ten years. In addition to her preference for representing Brazil in competitions, she loves having three nationalities, which are stamped in a special painting on her helmet.
A fan of three-time champion Ayrton Senna, Aurelia reveals that she likes the Brazilian idol’s history because of the way he treated the public and the determination he had. Of the new generation, the young woman admires Charles Leclerc, driver of the Ferrari team.
“Something I really admire about him [Leclerc] that not all pilots have is that he recognizes when he makes a mistake, he admits to failure. It’s something you have to have as a driver, you can’t always blame others or the team,” he said.
Like so many other drivers, Aurelia’s dream is to reach Formula 1.
“I have a lot to learn, so it’s going to take it easy, step by step”, said the promise of women’s motorsport.
In the last race, held in Interlagos, Aurelia won her first point in the category led by Pedro Clerot (177 points). Nicolas Giaffone, Fernando Barrichello and Felipe Barrichello Bartz are some of the famous surnames on the grid. This Sunday (4), the cars race at the Velocitta racetrack, in Mogi Guaçu (SP), on the fifth of the seven stages of the championship.
* Intern at R7under the supervision of André Avelar
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