Williams Racing announced Tuesday it has signed Lia Block to represent the team in the 2024 F1 Academy championship. Block plans to participate in a full season with the ART Grand Prix team.
The 17-year-old American driver started racing in karts when she was 11 years old, before going on to compete in stage rally, rallycross, Extreme E, and the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb. Earlier this year she took a championship win in the American Rally Association's open two-wheel drive class.
The news of Block's signing to Williams comes nearly a year after her father, superstar Gymkhana driver and Hoonigan founder Ken Block, was killed in a snowmobile accident. Since then, Block has made numerous appearances at car events behind the wheel of her late father's vehicles.
“I am so excited to be joining the Williams Driver Academy and competing in F1 Academy in 2024,” Block said in a statement. “This is something I never could have dreamed of. I can’t wait to embrace this new experience and learn as much as possible.”
Block will be joined at ART Grand Prix by 18-year old Filipino driver Bianca Bustamante, who's previously raced in the W Series and in Formula 4.
“Lia has already achieved a tremendous amount in motorsport, has incredible natural talent, and the champion mindset and dedication to make a success of her journey into open-wheel racing," Williams team principal James Vowles said in a statement.
Block will appear in all seven rounds of the Formula 1 support series, with events in Saudi Arabia, Miami, Barcelona, Zandvoort, Singapore, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi.
“We cannot wait to get started on this journey together," Vowles added. "As a team, we are committed to Formula 1 and F1 Academy’s joint efforts to improve female representation in motorsport, and we look forward to working with Lia as a key part of the Williams Racing Driver Academy.”