W Series, Brands Hatch, 2019

W Series is “closer to getting women into F1”

2020 F1 season

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W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir says the championship is moving closer to getting women racers into Formula 1 after announcing a deal to run support races at two grands prix this year.

The championship has added two new rounds at Circuit of the Americas and the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez supporting their F1 races in October. The back-to-back rounds will form the finale for W Series.

“The reason why we’re going to Austin and Mexico City is that it fits in very well with our timetable,” said Bond Muir. “We think it’s an absolutely fantastic finale to our season and it’s great that there’s only a week in between.”

The other six W Series races will continue to be held alongside DTM events. “From our last race with the DTM we can actually ship our cars over so that saves us some money and then obviously we can ship them back again,” said Bond Muir.

“We’ve been in discussions with Formula 1, we know the people who run the business there and they in fact approached us a few months ago and said that they would be interested in us being on their calendar,” she added.

“We wanted to expand internationally and we felt the second season it was great for us to go with the Americas and the fact that we could race with Austin and Mexico that was ideal for us. And it’s also great for our partner Rokit phones because they are based in the Americas.”

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The second W Series championship will begin at Russia’s new Igora Drive circuit in May. For the first time the series will award FIA superlicence points to competing drivers. Bond Muir says the championship is getting closer to achieving its goal of promoting more women racers into top motorsport categories including Formula 1.

“What we did in the first season is gave 20 drivers more experience, a lot of coaching to help improve their motor racing skills and hopefully in the second year we can do more of that. But also what is starting to happen is a whole variety of other brands and series are looking very carefully at our drivers.

“So I think we are already starting to achieve our ambitions. We are closer to getting women into Formula 1.

“At the end of our second season, our champion will have 15 superlience points that will help them on their way. But then that champion will have to go on into another championship and hopefully get superlicence points in that next championship.”

Despite the tight time constraints of F1 race weekends, W Series intends to keep its current race duration of 30 minutes plus one lap. The F1-supporting races are expected to take place on Saturdays. W Series is yet to confirm its broadcasting arrangements for the new season.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 14 comments on “W Series is “closer to getting women into F1””

    1. GtisBetter (@)
      16th January 2020, 11:24

      while technically true, it would be more correct to say the W-serie is closer to getting woman in in F3 and F2.

      1. they’ll have to go through F3/F2 anyway to get the super license, so I think you’re right.

    2. Mmmm… while it is nice to set and have optimistic goals, one must not forget to stay realistic.
      Right now buying a ticket to a GP is getting women much closer to F1, than what can be achieved by Formula W.

      But they are working in the right direction! They need to participate in more F1 weekends and start putting F3 drivers to shame first.

      1. They want more women in motorsport and are saying women are just as good as men, which is probably the case. But by not being able to compare them directly it makes it completely useless. Motorsport is the one sport that wouldn’t need a series exclusive to women.

    3. So, what are the FW cars equivalent to in terms of pace? F3?

      1. Gavin Campbell
        16th January 2020, 15:02

        I believe they ARE F3 cars – they are the same as the regional F3 series cars (so like British or Italian F3).

        1. Agreed – I believe they are F3 cars but slightly detuned, to stop direct comparisons with Formula 3.

        2. Different engine. British F3 uses 2 liter duratec na engines and formula w has 1.8 liter turbo engines). British F3 has about 230bhp whereas formula w cars have 280bhp. W series car is heavier I think but they are not too far off I think. I did not check if driver weight is included or not. Tires are different too. Hankook vs pirelli.

          1. 270bhp, not 280

      2. Yeah, They use the same Tatuus T-318 chassis that some of the regional F3 series run with an Alfa Romeo 1.8Ltr turbo engine that’s producing similar power levels.

        At Brands Hatch the pole time for W series set by Jamie Chadwick was 1:22.425 while the pole for the British F3 round in August was 1:20.649 set by Johnathan Hoggard.

        1. @stefmeister
          Good stuff, so maybe f4 levels, but not quite f3.

          What is Chadwick slated for next year?

          1. W series again

        2. I really would like it if by winning the W series championship you were given a scholarship and ride to compete in the FIA Formula 3 Championship. One of the Hitech seats could be reserved for the W Series Champion.

    4. I am waiting for the time that the FIA+Media Complex tells us that is fair that women should have 15HP more…i give it 5 years for that.

    Comments are closed.