user icon

Women-only 'W Series' to launch in 2019

  • Published on 10 Oct 2018 10:39
  • comments 7
  • By: Fergal Walsh

A brand new racing series will be launched in 2019, with all of the seats going to female racers. The aim of the series is to find a female talent worthy of progressing towards Formula 1.

The last woman to start an F1 Grand Prix was Lella Lombardi in 1976. The organisers of the series are confident that the 'W Series' will allow female racers to compete against men on equal terms after receiving the same training and opportunities.

"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," said 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."

The series will launch in May of 2019 and hopes to attract 20 of the leading female drivers around the world. They will all be competing for a $1.5m (£1.14m) prize fund. The races will be 30 minutes long, taking place at venues around Europe.

All cars will be Tatuus F3-spec cars fitted with a 1.8 litre engines and the 'halo' cockpit protection device. The series is free to enter, however a panel of judges including David Coulthard, Adrian Newey and former F1 team manager Dave Ryan will decide who will race via a variety of pre-selection programmes. 

"In order to be a successful racing driver, you have to be skilled, determined, competitive, brave and physically fit, but you don't have to be a man," Coulthard said. "We at W Series believe that female and male racing drivers can and should compete on equal terms if they have the same opportunity and training - and we're here to make that happen."

Replies (7)

Login to reply
  • Freguz

    Posts: 159

    First I thought ... what the heck... but then.. maybe it isn't such a bad idea after all. Would be interesting to follow.

    • + 0
    • Oct 10 2018 - 11:57
  • Im a bit torn on this. On one hand, great for the ladies. Hope we'll see good talents getting promoted. On the other I think this will further serve to isolate women and will further strengthen the notion that women arent good enough to compete with the fellas in the other series, so they get quoted into F1 by the grace of the FIA. Now Im a pretty "SJW" fella as the connies love to say, and I'd love to see F1 getting a few lady drivers, or even a completely equal grid one day, Im just not sure this is the right method.

    • + 1
    • Oct 10 2018 - 16:04
    • Same here. Although after reading the details it looked more like a, platform to showcase women with potential and perhaps increase participation (as drivers) and viewership which is mostly composed on men these days.

      On the other hand you have to wonder if women are capable of the same kind of performance as men, why do they need their own championship with a lower entry bar? Still, however, I love the idea of a panel selecting talent and the low cost of participation, because this in theory will ensure talent over money.

      • + 0
      • Oct 10 2018 - 16:29
    • Yes, I feel more or less the same. Ultimately I hope this will be a neat new thing, and something that will be exciting to watch, but we'll see.

      • + 0
      • Oct 10 2018 - 17:41
  • Hombibi

    Posts: 137

    A bit odd that it is men who decide which women may participate.. That control is unnecessary and may even be counter productive.

    • + 0
    • Oct 10 2018 - 22:29
  • f1dave

    Posts: 683

    Next is a series with women driving electric cars.

    • + 0
    • Oct 11 2018 - 01:03
  • OK, I've been thinking about this for a couple of days now and after watching a brief news video of Lynn St. James I'm motivated to express myself..... this is freaking stupid! I was pleased with Lynn's comments. How does running a SEGREGATED series for one gender, or one color, or one religion legitimize the effort?!

    How does any woman think that racing against a dozen other women in a SHORT race (30 minutes) support anything about equality? Race cars are machines and they don't know who is in the driver's seating, that said, if you want to play ball with the boys and want to achieve equality you HAVE TO COMPETE against men.

    Good God, this is beyond stupid. Lynn knows and stated that this is a bad decision and I finally agree with something she's said.

    • + 0
    • Oct 14 2018 - 02:08
SM1
SM2

JP Grand Prix of Japan

Local time 

View more photos

JP Grand Prix of Japan

Local time 

View more photos


Test calendar

Circuit de Catalunya - Testing

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Is Charles Leclerc the new number 1 driver at Ferrari?

World Championship standings 2019

Show full world champion standings


Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Spain
-
Spain
15 - Mar 17
Australia
29 - Mar 31
Bahrain
-
Bahrain
12 - Apr 14
China
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan
10 - May 12
Spain
-
Spain
23 - May 26
Monaco
7 - Jun 9
Canada
21 - Jun 23
France
28 - Jun 30
Austria
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom
26 - Jul 28
Germany
2 - Aug 4
Hungary
30 - Sep 1
Belgium
6 - Sep 8
Italy
20 - Sep 22
Singapore
27 - Sep 29
Russian
11 - Oct 13
Japan
25 - Oct 27
Mexico
1 - Nov 3
United States of America
15 - Nov 17
Brazil
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
15 - Mar 17
Australia Albert Park
29 - Mar 31
12 - Apr 14
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
10 - May 12
23 - May 26
Monaco Monte Carlo
7 - Jun 9
21 - Jun 23
France Paul Ricard
28 - Jun 30
Austria Red Bull Ring
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom Silverstone
26 - Jul 28
Germany Hockenheimring
2 - Aug 4
Hungary Hungaroring
30 - Sep 1
6 - Sep 8
Italy Monza
20 - Sep 22
27 - Sep 29
Russian Sochi Autodrom
11 - Oct 13
25 - Oct 27
1 - Nov 3
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
15 - Nov 17
Brazil Interlagos
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar