W Series secures eight F1 support slots for 2021

The W Series will join the undercard at eight Formula 1 events in 2021.

W Series secures eight F1 support slots for 2021

Talks between Formula 1 and W Series have been in progress for some time, the move to split F2 and F3 opening the door for another support category at grands prix.

An agreement for W Series to support F1 eight times next season has now been reached, although the final schedule has not been finalised.

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

“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."

Bond Muir said that W Series was weighing up a number of alternatives about its 2021 calendar, but suggested the finale would be in Mexico.

"I have got a list of 10 different possibilities of permutations of races," she said. "I think it is likely that we will have a later start than Australia, and that is with my COVID hat on.

"Obviously the later that we leave it in the year, the better it will be. And whilst I don't know what the date of the last race is, our season may well end in in Mexico. That hasn't been confirmed."

Asked about if it was possible W Series would consider racing in Saudi Arabia, she replied: "I have no objection about going to Saudi Arabia, provided we can establish a meaningful relationship. And I think that would take some time to put together."

 

Read Also:

F1's managing director of motorsport Brawn added: “We are excited to announce our 2021 season this week and look forward to a thrilling season with an exciting mix of new races and established circuits that we missed during our unprecedented 2020 season.

“It is a really important moment for us to welcome W Series as partners for eight races this season. 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.”

W Series played a supporting role to the DTM in its inaugural 2019 season, while the 2020 season was meant to feature two F1 events, the Circuit of the Americas and Mexico, before it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While W Series is moving on to the F1 support bill, Bond Muir said the category would not be part of grand prix racing's media package, so would not be turning its back on fans who had followed its racing on free-to-air television.

"We're remaining completely independent," she added. "So our strategy in our first year will be exactly the same as our strategy for TV rights this year. And that is we will always go to the broadcaster with the greatest reach. We are not looking for big bucks for TV deals. What we're looking for is reach."

shares
comments

Related video

W Series boss Bond Muir’s quest to put a female driver in F1
Previous article

W Series boss Bond Muir’s quest to put a female driver in F1

Next article

Saudi Arabia open to holding W Series round in 2021

Saudi Arabia open to holding W Series round in 2021
Load comments
How W Series can confront its biggest enduring issue Prime

How W Series can confront its biggest enduring issue

Two-time W Series champion Jamie Chadwick finds herself in a predicament. The Williams F1 development driver has more than proven herself in the all-female series and has little to gain from returning. But where should she go next? And how will the series move forwards if she elects to take up her reserved slot on next year's grid? Whatever she decides, it poses important questions for the series' future

W Series
Nov 5, 2021
The nightmare season of a W Series title favourite Prime

The nightmare season of a W Series title favourite

She came into 2021 as a W Series title contender, but Beitske Visser has had a frustrating season, marred by a horrific crash at Spa and floundering in 12th place in the drivers’ standings. After misfortune and on-track clashes, the Dutch driver wishes the season was just starting now

W Series
Oct 20, 2021
The rational brain of W Series' outside title bet Prime

The rational brain of W Series' outside title bet

As the only mum in W Series, Emma Kimilainen has a different perspective than many of her rivals. After her swashbuckling drive to victory at a sodden Spa, the Finn now has a real chance of getting into the title fight, and can call on an approach that has been a boost through myriad past disappointments

W Series
Sep 3, 2021
How Powell is making the most of a second chance in W Series Prime

How Powell is making the most of a second chance in W Series

After four years of making only irregular race appearances, Alice Powell had good reason to believe that her dreams of becoming a professional driver were over. But W Series has provided a second chance that she has firmly grasped, Powell's popular home win at Silverstone prompting the new series leader to look ahead to a bright future

W Series
Jul 30, 2021
Why Chadwick is taking nothing for granted ahead of W Series return Prime

Why Chadwick is taking nothing for granted ahead of W Series return

W Series is back this weekend after a year away. This time it’s supporting F1, and reigning champion Jamie Chadwick is up for the challenge of taking another title - but knows with higher stakes will come even more motivated opposition

W Series
Jun 24, 2021
Why a sabbatical doesn't spell disaster for W Series Prime

Why a sabbatical doesn't spell disaster for W Series

W Series finally got off the ground in 2019 despite its critics and had expected to build on its momentum this season. Instead the COVID-19 crisis has put its plans on hold, but for the fledgling series it could prove a blessing in disguise

W Series
Jul 27, 2020
The one thing W Series needs in 2020 to continue its rise Prime

The one thing W Series needs in 2020 to continue its rise

The first season of the W Series can be considered a major motorsport success story, but at the same time certain elements of its philosophy were exposed as problems. For its second season, there's one issue in particular it needs to address

W Series
Jan 15, 2020
What W Series should look like in 2020 and beyond Prime

What W Series should look like in 2020 and beyond

While the maiden season of the W Series can be regarded as a success, it must now capitalise on its strong debut and make the most of its opportunity to cement a long-term future. Here's how it could do just that.

W Series
Aug 19, 2019