W Series CEO defends double champion Chadwick's surprise return

W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir has defended Jamie Chadwick’s return to the series despite being a double champion.

W Series CEO defends double champion Chadwick's surprise return

The Williams Formula 1 development driver announced her surprise return to the all-female championship on Tuesday, despite having previously said she had no plans to.

Chadwick, who previously raced for Veloce Racing in the series, has joined Jenner Racing, the eponymous team from Olympic champion Caitlyn Jenner.

It prompted criticism on social media, including from 2021 runner-up Alice Powell, who said she agreed that the champion should not be able to return, as is the case in FIA Formula 2 and 3.

But Bond Muir highlighted the difficulty in obtaining a seat higher up the single-seater pyramid, especially for women, and said the most important thing was that Chadwick was in a race seat for the season.

She told Autosport: “Jamie has always been and stayed very close with us in the off-season. I just think she's gone through a whole variety of thought processes.

"She thought she wasn't going to come back, she's looked at what is out there. I'm sure she's still looking at other opportunities for 2022.

“And this is, amongst other things that she may do a great mix of, her still being in a racing car. We all predicted some of the negative comments about her coming back is that she should be going on and doing, you know, bigger and better things.

Jamie Chadwick

Jamie Chadwick

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

“She's said very clearly that she wants to go into F3 and F2, but this year it wasn't possible for her, so I think what she wants to do is stay in a racing car. So she'll be doing W Series, and hopefully other stuff, too.”

"From my point of view, if Jamie wants to come back and race the W Series, then that's fantastic. We will always be a home for her while she has the skill level."

Bond Muir added: “I think there are systemic problems in motorsport for women.

"I think motorsport is really hard for everyone, you need huge amounts of money to succeed in motorsport however you get that money and people get it from lots of different ways.

"I think you have that basic issue with single seaters, the single-seater pyramid.

“And then you have the fact that you're a woman, which I think adds another layer of difficulty to it.

"So I think it's a really tough old world and Jamie, I think, is demonstrating that it is not easy to get these seats. I'm sure that she will do.

“She’s got her eye on being a successful motor racing driver. And she realises that she needs to race as much as possible.

"If she doesn't get an F2 or an F3 seat this year, she's got to carry on racing, and that's the most important thing of all.”

shares
comments

Related video

Chadwick announces surprise W Series return with Jenner Racing
Previous article

Chadwick announces surprise W Series return with Jenner Racing

Next article

How Chadwick's u-turn poses big questions for W Series

How Chadwick's u-turn poses big questions for W Series
How Chadwick's u-turn poses big questions for W Series Plus

How Chadwick's u-turn poses big questions for W Series

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

W Series
Feb 23, 2022
How W Series' standout star took the challenge to its champion Plus

How W Series' standout star took the challenge to its champion

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

W Series
Dec 2, 2021
How Chadwick’s second W Series title poses more questions than answers Plus

How Chadwick’s second W Series title poses more questions than answers

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?

W Series
Nov 29, 2021
How W Series can confront its biggest enduring issue Plus

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 Plus

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 Plus

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
The comeback trail Brit making the most of a second chance Plus

The comeback trail Brit making the most of a second chance

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 W Series' champion is taking nothing for granted ahead of its return Plus

Why W Series' champion is taking nothing for granted ahead of its 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