Motorsport fans from across Australia are preparing to gather in Melbourne this weekend, as the Australian Grand Prix hits the ground racing.

There is a growing demographic of race-car enthusiasts who are gearing up to watch their favourite driver negotiate the Albert Park track.

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation reported the number of female attendees grew from 24 to 38 percent between 2019 and 2022. With 18 – 34-year-olds making up most of that percentage.

UOW Motorsport society is a University of Wollongong-based club that engineers and builds Formula racing cars.

UOW Motorsport’s first female Team Principal (2016-19) and now Corporate Communications Senior Executive for Audi Australia, Claudia Muller stays in regular contact with the university team and says female leadership roles and active involvement in the team increased during her time.

“In the team, we were really pushing for more female involvement, so it was quite supportive at the time. In saying that, it’s always going to come with challenges,” she said.

Ms Muller said increased female attendance at the F1 was wonderful, and was a result of more exposure of women in the motorsport industry and media.

“I think a lot of women were participating to begin with, it’s just giving them a voice and a platform to … put them in those higher roles and more visible spots, so that other girls can be encouraged to get involved and get into STEM,” she said.

UOW Motorsport Society Team Principal Liam O’Keefe says the society has struggled to boost female member numbers after COVID saw participation drop.

“We have a few women in the team, on average about five a year,” he said.

“We need to try to encourage more women to join the team, especially because of what we offer.”

There are approximately 30 active members each year who work on the UOW cars.

Mr O’Keefe said more women in motorsport is good, and the UOW society provides a great opportunity for students to “get their foot in the door”.

The Formula 1 grand prix will be held in Melbourne from March 30 to April 2.

Image supplied by UOW Motorsport Society.