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Female-only single-seater series aims to get women in F1

10 October 2018

A new all-female racing series supported by former Grand-Prix driver David Coulthard and Red Bull F1’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey  has been launched with the aim of helping female racers make it to Formula 1.

The new W Series, which is set to use spec Tatuus-F3 cars is set to have a prize pot totalling $1.5m, with the series’ champion earning $500,000 to help fund her next step on the motorsport ladder. Entry to the series which is due to start in May next year is set to be free  to enter for 18-20 drivers, who will selected based purely on merit. Instead of drivers bringing sponsorship as happens in many series, they will be judged on their abilities following a series of tests and appraisals.

The series organisers said that they aimed to stage six 30 minute races at circuits across Europe, with plans for future series expanding across the world into America, Asia and Australia.

“At the heart of W Series’ DNA is the firm belief that women can compete equally with men in motorsport. However, an all-female series is essential in order to force greater female participation,” organisers said in a statement.

“This is a tremendously exciting time for motorsport in general and for women in particular, as we aim to bring the sport up to date and show the world just what women are really capable of,” added CEO Catherine Bond Muir. “Many sports in which women and men compete equally also run segregated events purely to increase the numbers of women who participate. Until now, motor racing has been the only sport in which there were no separate series for women. Of all the many thousands of people involved in the technical side of our sport across the globe, only a handful are women,”

“The last woman to start a Formula 1 Grand Prix was Lella Lombardi more than 40 years ago, and there has never been a female Formula 1 Grand Prix race winner, let alone a world champion. Our mission is to change all of that.”

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