The W Series consists of 19 (one more was added on Saturday) talented female drivers, racing at 6 brilliant tracks across Europe. However is this women only series helping or hindering women wanting to get into F1?
The W series was designed to give talented female racers a platform to showcase their talent by racing against other women in identical F3 cars. However the fact that it is a women only series has had mixed reactions from the racing world- surely the women are aiming to get into F1 where men and women compete against each other? Motorsport is one of few sports where men and women compete on an even footing- why should segregation change this?
However many of the women on the grid wouldn’t be even in racing, if it wasn’t for the W series’ financial support. Motorsport (especially at F3 level) is very expensive and this often sets back people wanting to compete at a high level, so the fact that the W Series is funding them and helping them to continue racing and keep doing what they love is a good thing.
Although, some may argue why not just financially help the drivers in whatever series they are currently competing in? This would help them avoid losing their drive because of the expenses and show everyone that women can compete on an even footing with men. This series will help them get to grips with the F3 cars and give them a taste of single seater racing. The aim of this series is to give women a chance to compete in high level motorsport and inspire the next generation of girls, that racing isn’t just for boys. I’d love to see some of the incredible racers getting a drive in F3 or F2 next year and hopefully F1!
The series has created a great advertisement for the women drivers participating in it; many teams will be watching them race and scout the best drivers and it’s also giving jobs to many women engineers, mechanics, presenters etc. It’s inspiring to young girls, who when watching F1 will only see male drivers but here they have 19 talented women to look up to.
Personally, I have mixed views on the W Series; I’ve enjoyed watching it on TV (It’s a really good watch as there’s a lot of overtaking!) and it’s helped many of the drivers get back into racing by giving them this funded drive, but I don’t agree with the segregation. I think if we want to see a woman in F1 we need to support and encourage those already racing in single seaters (like Jamie Chadwick, Tatiana Calderon and Sophia Floersch) and encourage young girls to take part in karting events and other forms of motorsport. D2BD is doing a great job of this; they hold schools events where the girls get to try out all different aspects of motorsport.
Love it or hate it, the W Series is changing the views on women in motorsport and is set to be an epic championship!