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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)

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  • Freguz

    Posts: 160

    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: 782

    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

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