Jessica Hawkins on W Series, Vettel and Fast and Furious
Aston Martin Drivers’ Ambassador Jessica Hawkins was at Monza last weekend for the Italian Grand Prix in her role as team support, editor-in-chief Will Dodds told her.
Now a few months in her role with holding silverstone, the W-Series rider balances the job with her on-track responsibilities as a rider.
Having slowly started the second W Series campaign, Hawkins has been in the points for each of the last three races, including a season-best fifth place finish in Zandvoort on the Dutch Grand Prix weekend. .
After supporting the DTM in its inaugural season in 2019, the W Series has become part of Formula 1’s support program this year, with two races remaining at the Circuit of the Americas in the United States and the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. in Mexico.
Meanwhile, the 26-year-old will continue her work with Aston Martin and pursue her goal of racing in the British Touring Car Championship.
Hawkins sat down with the 247 Grand Prix ahead of the Italian Grand Prix to talk about what has been a busy year for her personally.
âI don’t think it’s a secret that I was not happy with my results earlier in the year,â she said. âI was anticipating a tough start to the season just because I spent so long out of the seat – I’ve only done two races in two years and am competing against people who regularly race and test these cars.
“I feel like we’re getting back on track now and that’s how I really saw the season go, so I’m hoping for a good end at COTA and Mexico.”
Although the W-Series were forced to take a year off in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they managed to build on the momentum of their successful debut and secure a place on the F1 platform. , with Hawkins and his rivals having the opportunity to race for the first time on multiple circuits.
âThe W series did such a good job in its first year on the DTM package that there was only one place to really go and that is at the top of motorsport,â he said. she explains.
âI’ve never raced on any of the circuits before, even at Silverstone when I only live half an hour away. Well, I raced on the national track and had a lot of success there, but all the other tracks are new to me. It’s not ideal for learning them, especially since we only have one free trial, but it makes the time on the simulator all the more important.
With two races to go, the goal for Hawkins is clear: âI would really like to finish on the podium. I believe it’s a big request, but I also think it’s achievable. Obviously there is so much that needs to be put in place for this to happen, but I will do everything in my power to make sure that is possible. There are a lot of people who have worked very hard this season, so I would like to reward them with a good result.
Hawkins joined Aston Martin in May this year as Drivers’ Ambassador, a role created after the marque returned to F1 during the offseason.
Starting with an initial conversation, things moved slowly at first, but she has since settled into the role well without being on duty in the W series.
âIt started several months ago, but it was nothing more than asking me if the role was available, would I be interested,â she said.
âAnd I didn’t really hear much more than that for another six months maybe, but then it happened very quickly and we got into contract talks very quickly.
âSince then, I’ve been part of the team, and even a few hours after being out on the track for my first day with the team, I really felt a part of the operation. It was a very warm welcome to the team this weekend after a few weeks away from the W Series and I missed everyone here. Everyone was asking me about my races at Spa and Zandvoort which was a really nice feeling.
Through his role within the team, Hawkins was able to work closely with Aston Martin F1 drivers Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll, including learning from them on track rides before the start of a race weekend.
âThey have both been fantastic,â she said.
âI’ve done a few trail hikes with them now and actually did a trail hike here in Monza. We got to the halfway point, and Seb actually pointed out part of the old circuit bank. I said I had never been to Monza before so he said he would take me to the bank.
âSo at the end of the trail walk we went to take a look, which was really cool. Even on my first weekend, he was asking me questions about my race. He doesn’t need to give me as much time as he does, but I think he really takes time for his team which is very nice because he has such an amazing CV.
Alongside the W Series, Hawkins has now competed in six British Touring Car Championship races with two separate teams.
When asked if a full-time role with BTCC might be an option in the future, she explained: âGrowing up, I watched F1 and touring cars on TV all the time, and touring cars are probably a little more achievable for me in my career, and that’s really where my heart is. While I’m not in a position to sign any contracts now, I think a full season is n is not completely out of the question.
âI know one team in particular that I would really love to be with, and I know they’re looking forward to having me as well, but there are a few things that need to be worked out before that. I certainly have unfinished business with passenger cars.
Outside of racing and Aston Martin, Hawkins has also enjoyed success as a stuntman, first with the Fast and Furious live shows and now with the new James Bond film No Time to Die.
âI kind of took this route because I ran out of money to run, and an opportunity arose to be a part of the Fast and Furious live shows,â she said.
âI was like ‘I don’t have any money to run so I’m just going to do it.’ I had never really drifted before, but I got it right and ended up getting this job. I did a few years with live shows while traveling in Europe, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
âIt then snowballed in the movies after you met people and started going down in that direction. It’s something I would always love to fall back on, but right now I’m certainly not done with the racing dream, âsaid Hawkins.