The next mountain W Series must climb
Through a controversial concept launch, one of its drivers making it into a Formula 1 role and format experiments coming under the glare of TV lenses, the W Series has made a promising start. But the second year will be its biggest test yet
If the follow-up album is the hardest for a new band that's made an impact with its debut, then the same logic can be applied to the second season of an all-new single-seater racing championship - and this is exactly the challenge facing W Series as its inaugural season draws to a close at Brands Hatch next weekend.
Via the controversy over its single-gender concept when it was launched, its big-name backers in David Coulthard and Channel 4, and its lofty mission statement to 'change the face of racing': from the get-go, W Series has been able to capitalise on heightened publicity and attention that is otherwise not afforded to other junior single-seater championships at a similar Formula 3 level.
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
Having triumphed in club motorsport, and landed a prominent TV driving role, Abbie Eaton has struggled with that problem so many aspiring drivers face: raising a budget. Now her career has taken a new direction after joining the W Series grid
The first season of 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
From falling into motorsport "by accident" to becoming the first W Series champion, Jamie Chadwick's career success has shown motorsport's capacity for change and suggests the wait for another woman to race in Formula 1 could soon be over
Sarah Moore is enjoying 2019 - on and off the track. The W Series frontrunner was recently announced as a driver ambassador for new LGBTQ+ initiative Racing Pride and shares her thoughts on tolerance and acceptance in motorsport
Video: Powell, Chadwick explain lessons from W Series' experiment
Brands Hatch W Series: Emma Kimilainen leads both practice sessions