Sophia Floersch became the first women to collect points in Formula 3 world championship after finishing 7th in Formula 3’s Spa Francorchmps feature race.
The German driver is currently the only female in the series and stands 22nd out of 34 drivers with only one round left of the 2023 season. Floersch is one of three drivers racing for German racing team, PHM Racing, her points have helped them move up to 9th in the team standings.
This historic finish comes after the 22-year-old was stripped of her points finish at the beginning of this month. Floersch finished p9 in the round 6 feature race in Spielberg only to be disqualified due to front wing illegalities. The PHM no.29 front wings endplates were found to only be 67.5mm and 67.3mm above the reference plane, breaching the technical regulations that state in Art. 4.3.13 “No part of the front wing endplate may be less than 70 mm above the reference plane and more than 80mm above the reference plane”.
Sophia known as a trailblazer and inspiration for women in motorsport was announced as an Alpine Academy driver at the beginning of the 2023 season. After taking two years out of formula racing, she returned as part of PHM Racing.
Floersch previously told CNN “I think as a woman, a struggle you have is to find people to give you money for it…to find companies who believe in you, who trust you to beat the man and to get the same chances and possibilities”.
Sophia Floersch has made this incredible come back to Formula 3 after surviving what could have been a life ending crash in her previous stint in the series back in 2018, when it was a European championship. At 17 years old Sophia was sent airborne after making contact with fellow driver Jehan Daruvala, throwing her over the barriers at 171 mph during the Macau Grand Prix. The crash resulted in Floersch being rushed to hospital with a fractured spine, she was put through 11 hours of spinal cord surgery.
Just four months, 106 days, after her crash the German was back in a single seat racing, in Formula Regional with Van Amersfoort racing. She ended the season 7th in the standings after consistently getting points at every race.
The following year, 2019, Floersch was back in Macau with Formula 3. Sophia joined HWA seemingly unfazed by the crash, her race was only cut short due to mechanical failures. She was then signed by Campos Racing for the 2020 season adding another ‘first’ to her name as she became the first woman to race in the championship since the merger of GP3 and European F3. However, the season didn’t go to plan as several mechanical problems resulted her finishing 29th out of 35 drivers.
Floersch after a disappointing stint in F3 made her debut in endurance racing in 2020. For the next two years she would race in the 24 hours of Le Mans – LMP2 alongside Beitske Visser and Tatiana Calderon as part of an all-female team and the European Le Mans Series. Competing with Richard Mille Racing and Algarve Pro racing.
Laureus world sports award – ‘Comeback of the year’
In 2020, Sophia Floersch won the Laureus world sports award for ‘Comeback of the year’, coming out on top of her fellow nominees that included And Murray (Tennis), Christian Lealifano (Rugby) and Kawhi Leonard (Basketball). The award has previously been won by Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Michael Phelps. She is the only German and the second Auto racing athlete to have won this prestigious award.
Sophia Floersch only seems to get more determined as she said at the ceremony: “It was a hard time, but I always had the goal to come back in a racecar…Thanks to the Academy for letting me win it and hopefully I'm going to be here in some years again as a Sportswoman of the Year”.
writer @ F1 Journal