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New ladies' W series aims to find next F1 star

12 October, 2018, 15:44 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • F1 for women: New female-only motorsport series launched to find future Formula 1 stars

Next year will be a new formula one championship called the W Series, which will serve only women.

The judges in this series include the legendary Formula One driver David Coulthard, former formula one racing manager Dave Ryan who is also the Racing director of this series and the legendary formula one designer and race engineer Adrian Neway who is also an advisory board member.

The overall victor will collect US$500,000, with prize money down to 18th place.

The concept of all-female racing series had gained momentum in the face of controversy over the past two years, with many women racers adamant that they should be pitted against men rather than be separated from them.

She said: "This series is founded on segregation, and while it may create opportunities for some female drivers, it sends a clear message that segregation is acceptable".

"In order to be a successful racing driver, you have to be skilled, determined, competitive, courageous and physically fit", he said. He went on to say most female racers hit the "glass ceiling" around the GP3 / Formula 3 level often as a result of a lack of funding rather than a lack of talent. In fact, it was back in 1976 when we last saw a female driver, Lella Lombardi, competing in the prestigious open-wheel racing series.

The series has been backed by Tatiana Calderon, Sauber's test and development driver, as well as GP3 racer and Jamie Chadwick, who recently became the first female race victor in British Formula 3.

They will also use identical cars to the men, which will be provided and run by the championship.

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Although the schedule is yet to be released, the inaugural series is slated to take place across Europe, with events in the Americas, Asia and Australia planned for forthcoming seasons.

W Series will start in 2019 in an attempt to find potential female Formula 1 stars and is backed by a number of major F1 names, including 13-time grand prix victor David Coulthard and Red Bull design chief Adrian Newey.

On Wednesday it was announced a new Formula 3 level championship would be created with the sole objective of hosting female talent on the grid in order to increase the level of women in motorsport at the top level.

In the entirety of Formula 1, there has been no female Formula 1 Grand Prix race victor, let alone a world champion.

The series will not require drivers to bring sponsorship, although each driver will have to prove her ability in a selection process, which aims to ensure the grid is as high quality as possible. The last to attempt to enter a race was Italian Giovanna Amati, who failed to qualify in 1992.

It is still yet to be confirmed at the time of writing if the W Series championship will contribute points towards a Formula 1 superlicence.

"W Series aims to address that, and I heartily endorse that ambition".

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