This fits in with the W-Series’ commitment to defying the standards of the sport. While some remain critical of the women-only policy, as motorsport is generally not separate, there are currently very few female drivers racing at the highest level. The goal of the W Series is to change that, acting as a nurturing series helping to raise the skills and profile of female drivers so they can gain opportunities in F1 and other championships. Success stories have already emerged, including the British Jamie Chadwick.
Winner of the inaugural title in 2019, Chadwick signed up with the Williams F1 team as a development driver and was part of the inaugural roster of the new Extreme-E championship on Team Veloce.
She and Brazilian Bruna Tomaselli will now also race for Veloce in the W Series, with the drivers being informed of the teams and pairs on Wednesday evening.
During this transition season, while all drivers will race as usual, 12 have been allocated to the six new partner teams. The drivers were divided into two groups, based on their race results in 2019, and the team’s partners selected one driver from each group. The remaining six drivers have been assigned to the three “home team” pairs of the W Series – Ecurie W, Scuderia W and W Series Academy.
Understanding how a team environment works will be a new experience for many drivers, especially the younger ones, and Chadwick has already called it ‘brilliant’: ‘We learned so much about cars and tracks in 2019 , but a team setup will take us to the next level, giving us a great insight into what it’s like to work closely with a team partner and race with a team championship in mind instead. that just for yourself. “
The last obvious point to add is that it will also add another layer of competition. In 2019, the championship consisted of just six races, which meant that Chadwick’s lead – along with runner-up Beitke Visser – was never challenged once she won the first race. Although it has grown to eight races this year, the team element – even in its transition phase in 2021 – will add a new competitive advantage.