11-year-old girl from Walsall is one of six in the world to join Alpine's Rac(H)er programme

  • ITV News Central reporter Arun Lal went down to the track to catch up with Sukhmani Khera.

An 11-year-old girl from Walsall has become one of six in the world to be selected on Formula 1 team, Alpine's Rac(H)er programme.

It aims to get more females into the sport, by conducting training to get the drivers to a competitive level in Formula 1.Representing the UK, is Sukhmani Khera, who has impressed many in pit lanes up and down the country.

During their launch for their car this season, Alpine brought on stage their newest drivers, including Sukhmani, to stand next to their current starts Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly.

The youngster is fast and has shown she can mix it with the boys and come out on top.

In her short 3 year career, she's already podiumed more than 20 times and that's what caught the eye of those at Alpine.

Sukhmani was spotted on the track last year by former British racing driver and Formula Renault champion Alice Powell.

She said the 11-year-old is definitely one to watch for the future.

Alice said: "Sukhmani she's talented, she's doing extremely well in the championship, she's racing in at the moment.

"She's going to be one to watch for the British Championship and you know these championships that Lewis and Jenson, they're all British Champions, so Sukhmani is going to be one of those, that's racing at the front and racing at sharp end and we're proud to have her on the Race-her programme."

But even racing at the front hasn't stopped people from underestimating her, whether it be because of her gender or size.

It's something that many females in the sport have faced.

In the 72 years of Formula 1, only six out of the 885 drivers have been female.

However, those in Sukhmani's and seen her drive over the years have said she is ready to take on anyone.

Sukhmani's father, Simon Khera says boys didn't think much of the youngster when she first got on the track, but now that's all changed.

He said: "I think we had initially where boys are like oh can't let that girl beat us and what not, but I think over the years as the boys have got to know her as well on track I think she's earned that bit of respect and it's not the same as it was before and I think at the moment she won't give an inch to anyone, any boy or girl."

Sukhmani will be hoping to surprise more people in April as she'll be competing in the British Kart Championships.

A successful run there and maybe, just maybe her dream of competing in Formula 1 will become a reality.