W Series leaders Chadwick and Powell troubled by gearbox issue

W Series race winner Jamie Chadwick and runner-up Alice Powell both say they struggled with a gearbox problem when downshifting in the opening race of the season at Hockenheim

W Series leaders Chadwick and Powell troubled by gearbox issue

Chadwick, who won the race to complete a dominant opening weekend in the series, complained of a gearbox problem over team radio when she crossed the line.

At Turn 1 on the opening lap she locked up and lost the lead to Powell, retaking it after a brief safety car period.

"It's something I've discovered a little bit [this weekend]," said Chadwick.

"Sometimes you have an issue where you lock the front and the rear and obviously when you lock the rear tyres, it's really hard to get the downshifts engaged and get the car down the gearbox.

"When you're not getting the downshift, you're not getting the engine braking, so when you go into the corner you have to brake a bit more and that causes front locking.

"I believe we were both suffering with it so it's something to look at with the engineers definitely, but it might just be something to manage a bit better and I feel like Marta [Garcia, who finished third] managed it better."

Of the Turn 1 incident, Chadwick added: "I got a good start and was away and gone in the lead and then I went down to Turn 6 and went to brake what I thought was early - but yeah, nearly went and ended up in Berlin or something!

"I was nursing the car a little bit and I couldn't get down the gears - so yeah I think I was just pushing too much on the track with conditions the way that they were."

Powell, who spent the second half of the race defending a challenge for second place from Garcia said: "I saw that Marta was coming behind and she was very strong coming through turns six and eight which is where I was struggling the most to get the car down through the gears.

"I don't think it's a problem in general. [Maybe it was] the wet setting we were on and I don't know what Marta was running.

"Jamie and I were struggling over the bumps: maybe it was our braking point, you struggle to shift down and it jolts forwards so you have to release the brake to get it to go down - but we both seemed to cope with it quite well.

"I haven't spoken to many other drivers about it but I mentioned it in my debrief."

Garcia said that while she had found it difficult to downshift in some corners, she had not suffered as much of a problem with the issue as Chadwick and Powell.

Sarah Moore, who led the race briefly prior to the safety car before dropping down to fifth following the restart where she ran wide at the hairpin, also said she had not experienced any issues with the car.

"I had no issues at all this weekend, the only issues I've had has been with the tyres going off really.

"Other than that, it's been my own personal errors.

"The car has been fantastic, I can't fault it and hopefully it continues."

All of the drivers will change cars - as well as engineers and mechanics - for the next round at Zolder, which will be decided in a "random reallocation" process.

shares
comments
W Series DNF 'worst case scenario' in short calendar - Kimilainen
Previous article

W Series DNF 'worst case scenario' in short calendar - Kimilainen

Next article

W Series frontrunners felt pressure of media interest in first race

W Series frontrunners felt pressure of media interest in first race
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