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W Series (championship)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

W Series
W Series (championship).png
Inaugural season2019
Drivers' championUnited Kingdom Jamie Chadwick

W Series is an all-female single-seater racing championship.[1] The series is currently inactive, after being held over a total of three seasons in 2019, 2021 and 2022. All three editions were won by Jamie Chadwick. In October 2022, the 2022 W Series season was ended early due to financial issues, with seven out of ten races completed. Although the series initially announced plans to return in 2023, it has not materialised.[2]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • W Series Reverse-Grid Race | Assen | Non-Championship
  • 2019 W Series Race 1 | Hockenheim
  • Jamie Chadwick: The W-Series Champion Putting Women In The Driving Seat | Trans World Sport
  • Comparing F1 vs F2, F3 and W Series in Austria
  • 2021 W Series Full Race | Zandvoort



The W Series was publicly launched on 10 October 2018. Rumours about the creation of a female-only racing series had begun to circulate in November 2017.[3] It was created in response to the lack of female drivers progressing to the highest levels of motorsport, particularly Formula 1.[4]

The series has the backing of a number of prominent members of the motorsport community, including former F1 driver David Coulthard and engineer Adrian Newey.

The inaugural season in 2019 was run in support of the 2019 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, a touring car championship based in Germany, and all cars were operated by Hitech GP.[5] It consisted of six rounds that were held at six different circuits, two in Germany and four in other European countries.[6]

The calendar for the 2020 W Series was announced in early 2020.[7] The initial drivers' list confirmed that the top twelve finishers from the 2019 championship were automatically qualified for the 2020 series.[8] The 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic[9] and a 10-event eSports series was held on the iRacing platform in its place.[10]

The 2021 W Series featured eight races, and was run in support of the 2021 Formula One World Championship.[11] The 2022 W Series continued to be run in support of Formula One, and was initially scheduled to feature eight races as well.[12] The calendar was later expanded to feature ten races, including double-headers to start and finish the season.[13]

After the sixth race of the 2022 season, however, it was reported that the series was facing significant financial difficulties, as reported in the recent company accounts filed with Companies House on 5 September 2022, which showed that it had net liabilities of over £7.5 million to 31 December 2021, with debts to a number of creditors, including Whisper, the media production company owned by Jake Humphrey and David Coulthard, and Velocity Experience, the company that provides hospitality services to the series. Doubts were expressed whether it would be able to complete the 2022 season.[14][15][16] These doubts were realized on 10 October 2022, a week after the seventh race of the season, which had been moved from Suzuka to Singapore, resulting in the cancellation of the remaining three races, which included a single race at Circuit of the Americas and a double-header at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, due to financial issues. At the same time, CEO Catherine Bond Muir expressed confidence that the W Series would return in 2023.[17][18]

In November 2022, Formula One announced the creation of F1 Academy, another racing series for young women, with the participation of five teams with experience in Formula 2 and Formula 3, debuting in 2023.[19] Ahead of the first F1 Academy race in late April 2023, the W Series was yet to make an official statement regarding its fate and its return during the year remains unlikely.[2]

Championship format

The series features eighteen female racers from around the globe, plus two reserve drivers. The drivers were selected through a selection process that began with fifty-four participants.[20]

The W Series championship title is awarded to the competitor with the highest number of points from all qualifying rounds run, excluding any penalty points incurred. If two or more drivers finish the season with the same number of points, the higher place in the series shall be awarded to the driver with the highest number of race wins. If the number of race wins is the same, the championship title shall be awarded according to the number of second-place finishes, third-place finishes and so on.

The 15 Super Licence points for the champion are fewer than those awarded for winning the various Formula Regional championships, other series that use the same machinery as W Series.[21]

Points system

Points were awarded to the top ten classified finishers as follows:

Position  1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th   7th   8th   9th   10th 
Points 25 18 15 12 10 8 6 4 2 1


The Tatuus–Alfa Romeo F3 T-318 car of Sabré Cook is pushed into the paddock.
The Tatuus–Alfa Romeo F3 T-318 car of Sabré Cook is pushed into the paddock.

The W Series features mechanically identical cars. In 2018, it was announced that the inaugural 2019 season would use the Tatuus-Alfa Romeo F3 T-318, homologated by the FIA for use in Formula 3 in Formula Regional European Championship, powered by Autotecnica Motori-tuned Alfa Romeo 1.8-litre turbocharged engines, and equipped with a halo cockpit safety device.[22] Hankook would go on to supply tires for all three seasons.[23]

For 2022, to keep the carbon footprint as low as possible by using sea freight, the Toyota Racing Series will ship 18 TatuusToyota F3 FT-60 cars to be used at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in May and to Singapore in October.[24]


Three time series champion Jamie Chadwick.
Three time series champion Jamie Chadwick.
Season Driver Poles Wins Podiums Fastest laps Points Clinched Margin
2019 United Kingdom Jamie Chadwick 3 2 5 0 110 Race 6 of 6 10
2020 Not held
2021 United Kingdom Jamie Chadwick 4 4 7 2 159 Race 8 of 8 27
2022 United Kingdom Jamie Chadwick 3 5 6 3 143 Race 7 of 7 50


Number Countries, Circuits Years
1 Germany Hockenheimring 2019
2 Belgium Circuit Zolder 2019
3 Italy Misano World Circuit 2019
4 Germany Norisring 2019
5 Netherlands TT Circuit Assen 2019
6 United Kingdom Brands Hatch 2019
7 Austria Red Bull Ring 2021
8 United Kingdom Silverstone Circuit 2021-2022
9 Hungary Hungaroring 2021-2022
10 Belgium Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps 2021
11 Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort 2021
12 United States Circuit of the Americas 2021
13 United States Miami International Autodrome 2022
14 Spain Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya 2022
15 France Circuit Paul Ricard 2022
16 Singapore Marina Bay Street Circuit 2022

Funding structure

The inaugural W Series Championship is free to enter; competitors are not required to bring any sponsorship.[25]

The championship offers a total prize fund of $1.5 million, with the series champion receiving a top prize of $500,000, and the remaining $1 million being divided among the rest of the drivers.[26]

Media coverage

W Series race coverage was initially available on Channel 4 in the UK. The show was presented by long-time F1 journalist and sports presenter Lee McKenzie who shared the duties with fellow presenter Anna Woolhouse and joined by 2019 W-Series driver Naomi Schiff as studio analyst. Channel 4's Formula One commentator Alex Jacques replaced Claire Cottingham as the series' lead race commentator, with former Formula One driver David Coulthard and double-amputee driver Billy Monger in co-commentary roles and both Ted Kravitz and Amy Reynolds acting as pit-lane reporters.[27] Both Jacques and Monger were forced to miss the opening two rounds of 2021 after Billy Monger tested positive for COVID-19, therefore Ben Edwards had substituted as lead commentator for Alex.

W Series races are live-streamed on Facebook, YouTube and/or Twitter in countries without television broadcasts.[28]

In May 2022, Sky Sports UK announced it had obtained exclusive live broadcast rights for three years. A broadcast partnership was also made with Sky Italia.[29] In the UK, Channel 4 now show only race highlights, with the exception of the Silverstone race which will show live coverage alongside Sky.[30]


The W Series has faced criticism since it was publicly announced, with opponents of the series claiming the category segregated female racers rather than promoting their inclusion in established series.[31]

British IndyCar Series driver Pippa Mann responded to the series’ announcement on Twitter, saying "What a sad day for motorsport. Those with funding to help female racers are choosing to segregate them as opposed to supporting them. I am deeply disappointed to see such an historic step backwards take place in my life time."[32][33]

Mann's views on segregation were echoed by Charlie Martin, who stated "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. We don’t discriminate in sport based on race, so it is particularly jarring that we feel it is acceptable to do so based on gender in 2018. As racers, we want to compete against the best drivers – regardless of age, race, sexual orientation or gender – and prove we are the best at what we do."[34][35]

Former Formula E and ex-Sauber F1 Test Driver Simona de Silvestro has suggested that the $1.5 million prize fund would be better invested in a scholarship system to support the development of talent across a wider range of motorsport disciplines. "If there’s really that much money going into the series, there are a few girls that have been pretty competitive in junior series. It seems like everyone is just struggling to get the shot. If you look at a Red Bull affiliation or a Mercedes affiliation, somehow these kids always get into the best teams and then they’re winning. I think, personally, it would have been better to do something like the Red Bull programme and make sure some girls get an opportunity on a really good team."[36]

Claire Williams, at that time deputy team principal of the Williams Formula One team, was initially highly critical of the series, and felt it was analogous to segregation; however she later retracted this statement, and praised the series for promoting women in motorsports.[37]

The 2019, 2021 and 2022 champion, Jamie Chadwick, was invited into the Williams Driver Academy.

See also


  1. ^ "All-female motor racing series offers potential F1 pathway". CNN. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  2. ^ a b Suttill, Josh (28 April 2023). "Where the real value of F1's new all-female series lies". The Race. Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  3. ^ Gilboy, James. "W Series: Everything to Know About the Women-Only Racing Championship". The Drive. Retrieved 2020-05-22.
  4. ^ "Segregation or opportunity? Female racing drivers react to W Series". ESPN. 11 October 2018.
  5. ^ Khorounzhiy, Valentin (18 May 2019). "Top F3 team to run all W Series cars". Motorsport Network. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  6. ^ "2019 W Series Championship Schedule/Calendar". Motorsport Network. Retrieved 2023-02-03.
  7. ^ "W Series 2020 calendar announced: Russia and Sweden among initial venues". Motor Sport Magazine. 2020-01-16. Retrieved 2020-05-22.
  8. ^ Errington, Tom. "W Series' 2020 champion can't defend her title in '21". Retrieved 2020-05-22.
  9. ^ Molly McElwee (4 June 2020). "W Series cancelled with planning underway for 'bigger and better' 2021 season". The Telegraph.
  10. ^ Molly McElwee (10 June 2020). "W Series Esports League to be broadcast on the BBC". The Telegraph.
  11. ^ "W Series to feature at eight F1 races" – via
  12. ^ White, Megan (27 January 2022). "W Series adds Suzuka round to eight-race 2022 calendar". Motorsport Network. Retrieved 3 March 2023.
  13. ^ Edwards, Jordan (2022-03-30). "W Series announces Miami double-header and use of TRS cars". Formula Scout. Retrieved 2022-03-20.
  14. ^ "W Series may not complete 2022 season due to 'significant' financial issues". The Telegraph. 2022-09-28. Retrieved 2022-09-29.
  15. ^ "W Series has one week to save season after investor pulls out". Motor Sport Magazine. 2022-09-30. Retrieved 2022-10-07.
  16. ^ "W Series sets next week deadline on fate of final races". Motorsport. 2022-09-30. Retrieved 2022-10-07.
  17. ^ "W Series announces early end to 2022 season, Chadwick secures title". Motorsport. 2022-10-10. Retrieved 2022-10-11.
  18. ^ "W Series to curtail 2022 season to focus on fundraising for 2023". W Series. 2022-10-10. Retrieved 2022-10-12.
  19. ^ "F1 Academy confirms five-team line-up for inaugural 2023 season". F1 Academy. Formula One Management Limited. 16 December 2022. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  20. ^ "2019 Qualifiers". W Series. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  21. ^ <Adam Cooper> (30 January 2020). "W Series unveils full 2020 superlicence points allocation". Motorsport.
  22. ^ "New Tatuus F3 T-318 unveiled | Press Racing". Archived from the original on 2019-04-12. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  23. ^ "W Series extends partnership with Hankook". W Series. 2022-02-28. Retrieved 2023-04-29.
  24. ^ "Spanish stars out to impress in Barcelona". W Series. 2022-05-17. Retrieved 2022-05-23.
  25. ^ "The new women-only single seater race series is dividing opinion". Car Throttle. 11 October 2018.
  26. ^ "New all-female W Series to launch in 2019". Motorsport. 10 October 2018.
  27. ^ "W Series to be shown on Channel 4". W Series. 2021-05-26. Retrieved 2021-05-29.
  28. ^ "Where to Watch". W Series. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  29. ^ "W Series live on Sky Sports from 2022 as multi-year deal agreed with female racing championship". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  30. ^ "W Series live on Sky Sports from 2022 as multi-year deal agreed with female racing championship". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2022-04-25.
  31. ^ Richards, Giles (2019-08-09). "W Series' first champion marks key step for women in motor racing | Giles Richards". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-05-22.
  32. ^ "'W Series' launched to mixed reviews in bid to increase number of women drivers challenging men in F1". The Independent. 10 October 2018.
  33. ^ "Pippa Mann: The W Series is a 'sad day for motorsport'". NBC Sports. 13 October 2018.
  34. ^ "W Series: Pippa Mann says new women-only series will 'segregate' female racers". The BBC. 10 October 2018.
  35. ^ "Women-only W Series 'feels like a backwards step', says Charlie Martin". Sky Sports. 11 October 2018.
  36. ^ "De Silvestro: Red Bull-style programme preferable to W Series". 31 October 2018. Archived from the original on 15 November 2018.
  37. ^ Parkes, Ian (2019-09-06). "The W Series Silences Its Critics. Next Stop: F1". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-05-22.

External links

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