W Series added to F1 support bill for eight races in 2021 season

The W Series will run on Formula 1’s support bill at eight races in the 2021 season.

The all-female championship staged its first season in 2019 but was called off for this year due to the global pandemic, when it was due to run for the first time alongside F1 at the US and Mexican GPs.

But, in a significant move, eight races will now run on Grand Prix weekends in 2021. The venues and dates will be announced in due course.

“It is a really important moment for us to welcome W Series as partners for eight races this season,” said Ross Brawn, F1’s managing director of motorsport.

“They have been a beacon to many since they began racing in 2019. We believe it is incredibly important to give everyone the chance to reach the highest levels of our sport and their partnership with Formula 1 next season shows our determination and commitment to showcase their exciting series and the importance of building greater diversity across the sport.”

Britain’s Jamie Chadwick, who serves as Williams’ development driver in F1, won the inaugural W Series title in 2019.

Catherine Bond Muir, W Series’ chief executive officer, said: “After such a successful inaugural season [2019], we at W Series are absolutely delighted to be partnering with Formula 1 for 2021 and beyond.

“Formula 1 is by some margin the world’s premier motor racing series, and, when we promised that W Series would be bigger and better in the future, partnering with Formula 1 was always our ultimate objective. There is no doubt that, now that W Series will be run alongside and in collaboration with Formula 1, our global reach, impact and influence will be increased significantly.

“Everything that made W Series so popular and successful in 2019 will remain. The cars will be identical, the racing will be close and competitive, and our mission will always be to further the interests and prospects of female racing drivers.

“We want W Series to entertain, and entertain it will. But we also want it to become a crucial default-option stepping stone for any female racing driver who wants to carve out a professional racing career, and our proximity to Formula 1 will help and enhance that process. The fact that W Series is now eligible for FIA Super Licence points will also be an important factor in that regard.”

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