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F1 Academy: Alpine junior Abbi Pulling says she wanted to 'prove a point' in Miami after Jeddah controversy

Britain's Abbi Pulling had a flawless F1 Academy weekend in Miami; Pulling joined Karun Chandhok and Natalie Pinkham on the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast to discuss her two race wins, plus Lando Norris' maiden Grand Prix victory

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Speaking on the Sky Sports F1 Podcast, F1 Academy driver Abbi Pulling explains why a positive mindset is key to success in motorsport

Abbi Pulling says she "wanted to prove a point" in Miami after controversially inheriting victory in F1 Academy's opening weekend in Saudi Arabia.

Pulling went into Miami as the championship leader after Doriane Pin was penalised from the second Jeddah race in March for not slowing down following the chequered flag and lost the win.

It meant Britain's Pulling took victory post-race but won on the track in Miami in both races with a dominant weekend, taking both pole positions and lights to flag victories.

The 21-year-old therefore extended her lead in the championship to 34 points over Pin after four races.

"The vibes were immaculate and I think I scored 57 out of a possible 58 points over the whole weekend, so it was almost perfect," said Pulling on the Sky Sports F1 Podcast.

"Coming to Miami, I just raised my game a bit more, especially after Jeddah and the controversy, or whatever you want to call it, that happened there, when I didn't win on track. I definitely wanted to prove a point and show I could do it on track."

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Doriane Pin lost out on her F1 Academy race win in Jeddah after receiving a 20-second penalty for failing to slow down after the chequered flag

Pulling: Cameras everywhere in Miami

Ahead of Miami, F1 Academy announced a docuseries about the current season will be shown on Netflix in 2025.

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Behind the scenes access to the all-women's series will be similar to F1's Drive to Survive, giving fans an insight into what goes on outside of the race car in F1 Academy.

Pulling, who is the only driver to score a podium in every race so far this year, said there was a "big buzz" in Miami.

"It was insane off track as well, especially after the Netflix announcement. Everywhere you turn there's a camera in your face and a microphone to your mouth, so it's pretty intense on that basis as well.

"But I think it's just great putting us on a platform like that, showing the behind the scenes of the racing and it's not just about jumping in and out of the car, there's so much more off track that goes on."

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Highlights of race two from the second round of the F1 Academy series in Miami

Pulling's dual 2024 racing programme

There are 14 races from seven locations this year in F1 Academy, with the next event being held during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend in Barcelona on June 22-23.

Zandvoort in the Netherlands, Singapore, Qatar and Abu Dhabi are the remaining venues in 2024.

It means there are some big gaps in the calendar, so Pulling is also racing in the British F4 Championship this year to maintain her race sharpness.

"I'm racing this weekend actually at Brands Hatch Indy. I've gone from Miami to Brands Indy, quite the stark difference!" she said.

"It's about keeping sharp, for sure. It's something that I've always said, I just need more seat time.

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Following her Race 1 win in Miami, Ted Kravitz catches up with Alpine's Pulling and team-mate Alice Powell

"F1 Academy and Rodin Cars haves support supported me this year and I can't thank them enough for the opportunities they've given me. I'm chock-a-block this year with how much I'm out in a car because of the dual campaign.

"The two cars, although they look almost identical, they're two really different cars to drive - especially in the UK, where it's very cool. You go from kind of 55 degrees track temperature to six degrees track temp.

"It's quite hard but I think that makes me a better driver because of the adaptability. One of the biggest strengths you can have, along with the mental side of things, is adaptability. Knowing how to adapt your driving to the different conditions is really important."

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Charlotte Tilbury MBE explains why Charlotte Tilbury Beauty have become the official partner of F1 Academy and says they're making history

Pulling: A happy Lando, is a fast Lando

The British national anthem was heard three times across the Miami weekend, twice due to Pulling's wins and the other occasion being Lando Norris' maiden F1 victory.

Norris became the 21st British driver to win a Grand Prix and there was a clear sign of confidence from the McLaren driver prior to the race, which Pulling noticed.

"A big thing that I've said this year is keeping positive, keeping smiling. I always say that a happy Abbi is a fast Abbi, so he is probably thinking with the same mindset - a happy Lando is a fast Lando," said Pulling.

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Speaking on the Sky Sports F1 Podcast, Natalie Pinkham reflects on Lando Norris' growth and development since his early years in the sport

"You could clearly see at the weekend he was very happy and could feel the potential of the car.

"I think the mind is a driver's strongest tool and can be overlooked sometimes. Having a strong mindset can really benefit your on-track performance. You've got to believe in yourself before others believe in you.

"You've got to really tell yourself, 'I can do this and I'm capable' and give yourself confidence, 1,000 per cent, otherwise you can get in your own head and you can end up getting in a bad place mentally."

Hear more from Pulling as she joined Karun Chandhok and Natalie Pinkham on the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast. Don't miss an episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast. Subscribe now on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Spreaker

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