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.
With two W Series titles under her belt, Jamie Chadwick appears to be the perfect candidate to break into FIA Formula 3. But a shock return to the series in 2022 appears a curious move – not just for her, but for the all-female series too
Heading into 2021, much of the discussion around W Series centred on Jamie Chadwick and her fight for a second crown. Chadwick duly won out, but only after a season-long battle with Alice Powell, who came into the final double-header level on points and almost stole the show
Jamie Chadwick successfully defended her W Series title as the series returned after a year out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She saw off a fierce fight from Alice Powell to keep the crown but with both looking to climb the motorsport ladder, what is next for both the two star drivers and series itself?
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
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
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
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 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
Gilkes confidence boosted "no-end" after Assen reversed-grid race win
Brands Hatch W Series: Emma Kimilainen leads both practice sessions
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