W Series eyeing regular F1 support slot in 2021

The W Series could become a regular support category at Formula 1 events in 2021 if plans currently being discussed come to fruition

W Series eyeing regular F1 support slot in 2021

The 2020 championship - which was canned in June due to the COVID-19 crisis - was already supposed to visit the US and Mexican Grands Prix.

When the cancellation announcement was made it was stressed that both events would figure on any provisional 2021 schedule.

However the relationship between the all-female racing series and F1 looks set to expand further next year.

W Series has focussed on supporting DTM events, but with the series under threat for next season following the withdrawal of Audi it has had to look elsewhere.

As revealed by Autosport, plans are in the works to split Formula 2 and Formula 3 in 2021, with only one of the feeder categories appearing on any given grand prix bill.

That opens up track time for another support event.

Currently between them, F2 and F3 account for eight track sessions of free practice, qualifying and races, which could become just five in 2021, assuming that the single series featured at each event will expand to three races.

The three spare slots could potentially be used for free practice, qualifying and a race for the W Series.

PLUS: Why a sabbatical doesn't spell disaster for W Series

A closer relationship between the two championships would make a lot of sense for Liberty Media, as it will reflect its stated push for diversity - and possibly help to fast track a female driver into F1.

It would also be a huge boost for W Series sponsors such as ROKiT.

In July, W Series CEO Catherine Bond-Muir suggested the championship was already looking elsewhere for alternatives to DTM support slots.

"The message that I would want to give is that if DTM is racing we'd love to continue the partnership, but if it doesn't then we have back-up plans," she told Autosport.

"We're considering everything at the moment, we don't operate in a microcosm."

When the 2020 W Series was cancelled in June, F1 boss Ross Brawn stressed his support for the category.

"W Series has had an incredible impact on the world of motorsport, and we were excited to have them join our schedule this year," he said.

"It is a big disappointment for all of us that due to the difficulties presented by COVID-19 the events will not take place, but we are looking forward to some exciting racing in 2021 when W Series returns."

shares
comments
Why a sabbatical doesn't spell disaster for W Series

Previous article

Why a sabbatical doesn't spell disaster for W Series

Next article

W Series to join F1 support bill at eight races in 2021

W Series to join F1 support bill at eight races in 2021
Load comments

About this article

Series W Series
Author Adam Cooper
Why a sabbatical doesn't spell disaster for W Series Plus

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
How Eaton's Grand Tour has led to single-seaters Plus

How Eaton's Grand Tour has led to single-seaters

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

W Series
May 10, 2020
The one thing W Series needs in 2020 to continue its rise Plus

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

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

W Series
Jan 15, 2020
How Chadwick became motorsport's face of change Plus

How Chadwick became motorsport's face of change

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

W Series
Aug 22, 2019
What W Series must look like in 2020 Plus

What W Series must look like in 2020

While the first season of W Series can be regarded as successful, it must now capitalise on its strong debut and make the most of its opportunity to cement a long term future. Here are the steps it should take for 2020

W Series
Aug 19, 2019
The next mountain W Series must climb Plus

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

W Series
Aug 2, 2019
The new stars emerging from W Series Plus

The new stars emerging from W Series

While the names fighting for the W Series title are familiar to the wider motorsport world, in their wake the all-female championship is bringing previously unknown drivers into the spotlight - and developing their abilities fast

W Series
Jul 3, 2019
The motorsport LGBTQ+ tolerance lessons of a W Series star Plus

The motorsport LGBTQ+ tolerance lessons of a W Series star

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

W Series
Jun 15, 2019