F1-backed female series ‘only a positive’, says W Series driver Hawkins

A possible new all-female racing series backed by Formula 1 can only be a positive thing for women in motorsport, according to W Series driver Jessica Hawkins.

F1-backed female series ‘only a positive’, says W Series driver Hawkins

Over the United States Grand Prix weekend last month, it emerged that F1 was planning to launch its own all-female racing series as early as next year, serving as a potential feeder series into Formula 3 and Formula 2.

It came just weeks after W Series was forced to call off the final three rounds of its 2022 season due to fundraising issues, instead turning its attention to securing back for the 2023 championship.

The F1-backed female series would not be designed to replace W Series, given it will use Formula 4 machinery and be targeted at a younger generation of drivers. W Series has used Formula 3 cars since its inaugural season in 2019.

Column: Why W Series must survive, and further steps are needed

Hawkins has raced in all three seasons of W Series to date, as well as serving as an ambassador for Aston Martin’s Formula 1 team.

Although F1 is yet to formally confirm any details for its planned series, Hawkins said she “can only see it as a positive” as it gives more racing opportunities to women trying to get up the ladder.

“Any championship that helps females out I think should be welcomed, and we should do everything that we can to welcome it,” said Hawkins.

“I also would like to think that it would work alongside W Series. I would hate to think they would ever be competing against each other, because that’s not what we’re fighting for here.

“It’s not who’s got the best championship, it’s how do we work together, because we’re all trying to achieve the same thing. I think it’s a positive thing.”

Start grid

Start grid

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Hawkins felt it was important for a greater focus on grassroots level to get more women racing, helping increase the pool of drivers and had a wider impact, similar to the England women’s football team that won the Euro 2022 championship.

“The less that we have, the less chance there is going to be that a female is going to be making it to Formula 1,” said Hawkins.

“So let’s address the issue, get as many in as we can, appeal to the younger generation, get as many as we can in at grassroots level, and in a few years’ time we’ll see the reward of that, like the Lionesses.

“Yes, we’re seeing the reward of the amazing work that the current Lionesses are doing. But we’re actually gaining from the work that was done five, 10, 15 years ago.

“The Lionesses could have won the Euros 20 years ago, but I bet no one would have heard about it. But because of the work that was done by those 20 years ago, now we’re enjoying it and hearing about it so much.

“W Series has helped make that happen, but we’re just a bit later on. We’re going to see the reward of that in a few years’ time.”

shares
comments
Ferrari: Mercedes’ development rate not a worry for F1 2023
Previous article

Ferrari: Mercedes’ development rate not a worry for F1 2023

Next article

Magnussen: “No problem" with Hulkenberg as 2023 F1 team-mate at Haas

Magnussen: “No problem" with Hulkenberg as 2023 F1 team-mate at Haas
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023