New women-only championship W Series to launch in 2019

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W Series, a new championship open only to women racers, will launch in spring next year.

The British Racing and Sports Car Club will organise the championship which is expected to attract a field of up to 20 competitors. They will compete for a top prize of $500,000 from a total prize fund of £1.5 million.

The championship will use single-specification Tatuus T-318 Formula Three chassis using 1.8-litre turbocharged Autotecnica Motori engines.

The promoters believe W Series will encourage more women to compete at other levels in motorsport. “At the heart of W Series’ DNA is the firm belief that women can compete equally with men in motorsport,” they said in a statement.

“However, an all-female series is essential in order to force greater female participation.”

W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir said the series will “very significantly” increase the number of female competitors in motor racing.

“There are just too few women competing in single-seaters series at the moment,” she said. “W Series will increase that number very significantly in 2019, thereby powerfully unleashing the potential of many more female racing drivers.

“W Series drivers will become global superstars – inspirational role models for women everywhere – and every organisation, every company, every sponsor and indeed every single person who helps W Series’ winners and champions achieve those ground-breaking successes will be able to celebrate their part in it, publicly, to lasting worldwide acclaim.”

Several key details regarding the championship are yet to be confirmed, including whether drivers will be awarded FIA superlicence points and what circuits the series will visit, although the series’ promoters claimed “the circuits will be some of the best and most famous in Europe, most of which have staged Formula 1 races for many decades.”

Multiple F1 race winner David Coulthard and Red Bull chief technology officer Adrian Newey have been confirmed as advisory board members to W Series.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 153 comments on “New women-only championship W Series to launch in 2019”

    1. Did they really need to call it ‘W’ series?

      1. It stands for winner. @todfod

        (thinks)

        Oh….

        1. Actually its for winnow

        2. They should have called it the RD series – Ratings Disaster series.

          Honestly, can these people make up their minds? One week everyone tells us that there’s no difference between men and women and that women are just as capable as men. The next week they tell us all about the ‘women only’ series in (insert your sport here).

          If women are no different from men, then why do we need different series??? Is it perhaps because men and women actually are different and if women had to compete with men in just about EVERY SINGLE PHYSICAL SPORT ON THE PLANET they would get destroyed (in general terms)?

          Just wait for the next talking point – why do male F1 drivers get paid millions and the women of the ‘w’ series don’t get paid the same?? The fact that only about 13 people will watch this series on TV and even less will turn up to the track won’t matter a bit to them. EQUAL RIGHTS!!

      2. And will the have scantilly clad men holding up brollies and placards ?

      3. And why do they have to make the car pink or purple..! Seriously, there are other colours available.

    2. Not to be that person, but I really hate women-only championships in anything. If women are as capable as men, then why segregate them?

      There’s no such thing as a woman champion imo. You’re either a champion or you’re not; you’re either the best of the best, or you’re not.

      1. In the long run, yes I agree with you. However. If this series can provide enough opportunity for promotion that more women are attracted to the sport, whether it through engineering or driving, then this is a stepping stone in the right direction at least. Motor racing was seen as a very much male only sport for generations, it will take decades to bring equality at the highest level.

        1. I dislike this notion of needing to attract anyone to anything. Always feels to me if less women are interested in going in circles- good for them. Let them do whatever it is they like better. If some want to anyway, noone is stopping them as it is. If they are any good chances are they will find willing supporters as Well, going by the careers of the susie wolfs of this world.

          1. You’ve just written a very good example of male privilege. It’s not been that many years since girls were learning to cook and mend socks while boys were taught industrial technology. Fact is that the idea of equality is far ahead of the actual acceptance into everyday life.

            1. Give it a rest. Male privilege doesn’t exist. If you’re advocating equality of outcome you’re staring down a blind alley that terminates in totalitarianism.

            2. Phew- Good thing You don’t know i’m also white cis

            3. @mrboerns

              Do better next time!

            4. Ross
              What fantasy victim-land do you live in?
              My boss is a woman, her boss is a woman and good luck to them both for putting in the hard work to get there.
              Bobby (@f1bobby) got it spot on – so fed up with fantasists telling me what a (male) monster I am…

            5. @stew I live in the real world, where for literally thousands of years leadership has been dominated heavily by males. Your experience is one of 8 billion on this planet and very much not the normal. I’m a 32 year old white Australian male, I can guarantee you my life has been made easier then many others by that fact. When I studied engineering and my auditorium seating of 600+ was 98% male, I was very aware of the fact. My fiancé has so much more potential than I do as both a leader and sportswoman, but every time she received a promotion people would brandish her improvement in the business purely the result of quotas. If you think that being born a male in the past 2000 years has made anyones life harder, you are very much mistaken.

            6. @stew

              I live in the real world, one that has been dominated by male leadership for thousands of years. I’m a 32 year old white Australian male. When I studied engineering and 98% of the 600+ seat auditorium was male, I was very aware of the fact that being able to make the decisions that I wanted to up until that point had been made easier by my gender. Your example is 1 of 8 billion on this planet, and yours is far from the normal. My fiancé, whom has far more potential than myself as both a leader and sportsperson suffers the indignation whenever she receives a promotion at work of people saying it’s due to quotas, and not the fact that she works harder and smarter than those around her.

              No one is telling you that you’re a monster, but if you’re feeling guilty about it there is probably something there.

              For generations society has segregated both genders, males went off to work while females ran the house, while it’s not the same case for every family, it was the overruling generalisation. It will take more than a decade or two for cultural change, so get used to people telling you that male privilege is a thing. Thank those who came before you for it.

              No one is telling boys to be girls and girls to be boys… (see below, which is one of the stupidest comments on this thread) merely that we should be encouraging both girls and boys to study, work or compete is whichever industry/sport they want.

            7. greg253d (@greg253dgmail-com)
              11th October 2018, 3:47

              @Ross, are you saying that quotas are detrimental to hard working women? What is the difference between a quota and a women only series?

            8. @greg253dgmail-com

              In a workforce they can be, if they are falsely seen as the reasoning behind promotion that was given based on talent. But we’re not talking about work here, we’re talking about a sport. A sport that has been dominated by males for over a hundred years. A women only series would put 26 individuals on a track right now, and allow them to inspire the next generation of drivers/engineers, that could speed up the process of finding those with the skillset to make it into F1 on merit. Waiting for a female to make it into to F1 on merit might take decades. This series can happen next year.

            9. To quote The Lord Emperor Milo Yiannopoulos – “Feminism is Cancer”.

      2. Women are not as capable as men in physical, spatial awareness sports. Women are usually better in some stuff and worse in other stuff which is logical, we have different bodies, we developed differently along human history.
        Also because we are not equal, we have different preferences. This is a generalization obviously.

        In theory i have nothing against someone wanting to make a series like this, but i know what is behind it and it is simply cultural Marxism “where every one is equal but…” shaking hands with big business which is somewhat ironic.

        1. Those physical differences become irrelevant when you strap those bodies into a racing car or stick a motorbike between their legs.

          1. Not really. Maybe when you’re racing at home, playing with a sim and your wheel. Driving a real racing car (especially the likes of Formula 1) gets extremely physical, and there goes the equal chance to compete. I don’t say that there are not women able to participate in such series, but just for being in a female body the challenge is a lot bigger.
            As I always say, people must have equal rights, but that doesn’t mean that we’re all equal (I’d hate to see such a world in fact). I wish we were equal with this, since the sport would be open to more people (well, over 50% more), but that’s just not realistic. If we ever (hopefully) get to see a female F1 driver and she’s at least competitive, I’d say she’s got more talent than anyone else on that grid. But sometimes people see you as a bad person for just stating the obvious, even if you don’t have ill intentions.

          2. The physical demand for F1 is immense. It takes probably the most toll on the body out of every sport. So I would say that females aren’t in the same position as males.

            1. Do you guys really think Formula 1 is more physically demanding than NASCAR?

              (or rock climbing? or tennis? or a marathon? or white water kayaking?)

              I mean, really. Let’s use our brains.

            2. Yes David, Formula 1 is physically more demanding than NASCAR. Maybe NASCAR cars seem more muscular, but in reality G forces can’t even compare.

            3. Exactly. And it’s tough to decide what level of fitness is “enough” to be competitive. Is it possible an in-her-prime female is similarly capable to a mid-40s Nigel Mansell? Possibly? Not even close? And how much less strength/endurance is still good enough?

              Some current/recent drivers are in much better shape than others I’m sure it’s safe to say(JPM?), so where is that cutoff that it affects outright pace? Is a female capable of reaching that bottom cutoff point?

              And someone else mentioned marathons as an example of equal footing between the genders. “They can both run a marathon.” Well I can run a marathon also. With zero training. It’ll just take me several days! The Women’s marathon gold medalist at Rio would have finished 90th in a gender equal race. So they’re running the same race, but it’s also not the same race.

              I would be excited for a female to get a chance in Formula 1…. but it has to be on merit. And if this W-series will shine light on the fact that women can be just as quick as men in a race? That would be fantastic to see.

              If this series opens the eyes to some people that refused to even consider the thought of a female racing driver for 5-seconds, then that’s a good start. Maybe the series winner will get a shot in the RoC in the future and see how she compares. Or maybe it’ll show that they are not capable of competing at that level. At least they get the chance.

            4. I used to have this view of F1. But it’s wrong, backed up by drivers, Button has been quoted saying that women would have no trouble driving and F1 car. The fact that a driver that has basically had his arm reattached was on the cusp of being on the grid should give an indication of the level of physical superiority these drivers have over us ‘mere mortals’. Many of them have to diet heavily during the season, which means they aren’t at the peak of their physical capabilities. Their ability and speed comes from race craft and being able to apply perfect amounts of pressure to pedals, neither of which fall outside female capability. The physical differences between male and female genders are nulled with the addition of the car. That’s why we have female fighter pilots, female jockeys, female motorcycles champions. We are still very much in the infancy of an idea that females can compete in motorsport, any tool that can be used to further inspire the next generation of possible drivers should be used.

            5. Dave (@davewillisporter)
              11th October 2018, 13:16

              @Dex We have female fighter pilots so the G argument is pretty much moot. In case anyone mentions a G suit, a that doesn’t help a pilot’s neck or core muscles cope, it just controls blood flow to the legs.

        2. Women are generally not a physical as men. And you are correct in noting that there are differences in other areas too. (Women see colours differently too as they evolved to gather food and therefore needed a better ability to identify poisonous berries etc than Men). However it is not true that women are not as good as men at spatial awareness. There are many aspects to spatial awareness and men are better at some spatial awareness tasks while women are better at other spatial awareness tasks.

          Your comment sort of reminds me of the following one about the first womens 800m event at the olympics in 1928.

          “Below us on the cinder path were 11 wretched women, 5 of whom dropped out before the finish, while 5 collapsed after reaching the tape,” wrote John Tunis of the New York Evening Post.

          In reality there were 9 athletes in the race and all of them finished. 3 of them finished under the world record and none collapsed… However despite this there were protests and the event was banned until 1960….

          If we want more women in F1 (and we do as long as they are up to the required standard) then we need to offer ways to get into a sport dominated by men and therefore quite intimidating to young women trying to make their way. I do not want to see a womens only F1 but this lower order feeder series is a way to nurture women into the sport. It is similar to initiatives to get other groups into other sports.

          1. Guys, – Lee, Alex the key part here is that woman generally aren’t as strong etc. Apart from the solid point that there might be small differences on average but the machine evens it out almost completely, made by Craig above, the point is that while on average there are differences, there is a far greater variance.
            No racer of this calibre is an average human being, regardless of their gender.

        3. Agree 100%, Alex.

      3. You are not that person. It is illegal to discriminate based on sex. F1 is open to women but so far none of them have been fast enough. In darts the woman’s league exists because they aren’t good enough to play against the men. They play shorter sets too for some reason. Are they too weak to throw a dart? Snooker is open to all sexes but women are not good enough to qualify. These are just the facts. Men and Women are different. I wish this nonsense would stop. If they made a men only competition it would be shouted down in minutes. Men should be able to enter any Woman only contest in a ‘fair’ world to prove the point that the sexes are different.

        1. If they made a men only competition it would be shouted down in minutes.

          There are a zillion ‘men-only’ sports; just think of tennis or even professional football/soccer.

          1. You have never heard of women’s tennis or football?

            1. He means how men’s football and tennis are different from women’s football and tennis.

            2. I was responding to this quote by the poster: “If they made a men only competition it would be shouted down in minutes.”
              Maybe you were confused as I should have written ‘competition’ rather than ‘sports’ @socksolid.

            3. If I tried to make a ‘men’s only club’ by law I would not be able to. If a woman wanted to join my club I’d have a allow them. Which is something I fully agree with. On a side note, I was asked to leave Mothercare when I tried to change my daughter’s nappies in the baby changing room. I was going to change the child on the floor in the middle of the shop to make a point but my wife stepped in. If it was a ‘man’s’ shop that refused service to a woman the courts and papers would be all over it. Funny how equality works in one direction? But let’s make a women’s only league… as long as men are allowed to participate.

      4. @smartez Not to be ‘that’ guy myself, but the clue is literally in the article…

        “At the heart of W Series’ DNA is the firm belief that women can compete equally with men in motorsport,” they said in a statement.

        “However, an all-female series is essential in order to force greater female participation.”

        If the aim is to shine a spotlight on women racers and help to increase opportunities for those racing today and future generations of women, I can absolutely get behind this.

        1. @willwood Why should we ‘force’ a greater female participation? I don’t see why we should encourage people to partake in something just because of their gender.

          This should have nothing to do with your gender at all. If you’re a good racing driver, your talent will be noticed. Women shouldnt have an easier time just because they’re women

          1. @smartez It has always surprised me how so many people fail to grasp it’s not about trying to encourage more women to take part, it’s about recognising the lack of opportunities offered to those women and girls who already do.

            You’re right, women shouldn’t have an easier time just because they’re women. But having actually interviewed women in motorsport such as Susie Wolff and club-level drivers about this myself, it’s been clear to me that women drivers actually have a more difficult time than the average male driver simply because they’re women.

            1. @willwood How exactly? How do they have a more difficult time because they’re women? Is there a conspiracy against female racing drivers? Women have exactly the same opportunites in motorsport as men; for every women who fails to enter formula one, there’s a thousand men who don’t enter either.

              The lack of women in motorsport has nothing to do with the lack of opportunities for women or because it’s harder because they’re women and everything to do with the fact that men are simply more apt racing drivers; men tend to take more risks, tend to me more physically fit, have better spatial awareness etc.

              There isnt a lack of opportunities for women, but a lack of talent. Of course, there are great exceptions, but it follows a general trend.

            2. @smartez, you keep saying that there are no “lack of opportunities”, but you don’t seem to be providing supporting evidence or any justification for why that is the case.

              I am also not necessarily sure that I entirely buy some of the arguments you are putting forward, such as physical fitness – there have been women who have competed in motorsport in the past in conditions that were arguably tougher.

              Desire Wilson, for example, took part in the 1981 South African Grand Prix – it was stripped of WDC status later on, but she was genuinely competitive in that race, managing to overtake drivers like Cheever and Mansell before an accident when Piquet was lapping her.

              She also took part in IndyCar and Group C sportscar races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, so physical fitness did not seem to be an impediment in series which were arguably just as tough, if not even tougher, on their drivers – there were times when she was able to withstand conditions which saw rival male drivers have to pull out from due to physical exhaustion and heat stress.

              We’ve also seen that, in more recent times, Simona de Silvestro was able to compete lengthy test sessions for Sauber with no ill effect, covering 180 laps in one day at Fiorano – the problems she had were financial rather than physical, because she couldn’t raise the sort of funding that Sauber were asking for.

              Equally, we have seen that Kubica is capable of driving an F1 car despite the fact that he still has fairly significant physical impediments – he still cannot fully rotate his arm and will never recover full dexterity in his right arm, and his right arm has also lost a significant amount of physical strength as well (he previously suggested that his left arm was having to do about 70% of the work). If an individual who has the sort of physical disabilities that Kubica has can still drive competitively in F1, it does beg the question of whether it is necessarily as much of a limiting factor as you suggest it is.

            3. But having actually interviewed women in motorsport such as Susie Wolff and club-level drivers about this myself, it’s been clear to me that women drivers actually have a more difficult time than the average male driver simply because they’re women.

              Yes, EXACTLY! They’re women. i.e. not as good as men at sport.

              It’s like saying that men have a really hard time giving birth or breast feeding simply because they’re men – yeah, cause they’re MEN!!

              Honestly, give me a break! If ANY woman, and I mean ANY WOMAN showed any sort of talent on par with competitive male F1 drivers EVERY TEAM AND SPONSOR ON THE PLANET would be falling all over themselves to sign them. Great marketing, and even better if they can actually compete – but they can’t.

              End of.

          2. You’re right Owen, but for the hand wringers, a woman has to “breaking down barriers” to be worthy of attention. Ironic really. We want our boys to be girls and our girls to be boys, well, not in my family, I promise you that.

          3. @smartez

            You don’t get it, do you? There are millions of little girls around the world who may or may not be interested in being a Formula 1 driver, but since there are none it immediately suggests to a good portion of these little girls that it is just “for men”.

            Then you’ve got the girls who don’t immediately make that assumption, but the general social culture suggests that Formula 1 is a man’s sport, so then you lose more. Then there are those whose parents or friends or people in a position of authority over them try to talk them out of it because it’s a “man’s sport” or as some people here think that a woman is physically not as capable as a man to handle a Formula 1 car.

            So any girls that still want to look like girls (in terms of muscles; ie being demure) will lose interest.

            Then you’ve got the few who are still pretty intent on being a Formula 1 driver. And THAT is the issue, because men don’t have any of those stops along the way. From the outset you’ve got literally every male in the world vs. maybe a few thousand women. Obviously that’s an overgeneralization but it’s basically the way things go.

            If there’s a Women’s Championship, then from the very beginning any little girl who wants to be a Formula 1 racer can see a goal that is achievable; a goal achievable without needing to fight everyone along the way. It’s there. It’s real. It’s tangible. More little girls will be able to keep their dreams, rather than get rid of them in favor of making your dang sandwiches.

            1. It is honestly painful sometimes to actually see real men denying the existence of barriers for women in sport/workplace/life in general. I’ve scrolled through a few comments and already literally seen somebody deny MALE PRIVILEGE. I really don’t have the energy. I just threw a voice in here to show that we’re not all idiots.

            2. @neiana I’m sorry, but what you say is just inaccurate.
              Am I denying that some girls feel discouraged joining F1 because it’s dominated by men? No, I’m sure there are girls out there who feel that way. Am I denying that some family members/people discourage girls from joining because they tell them it’s a man’s sport? No, there are people who do that. But if you’re suggesting that ‘millions of little girls’ are being discouraged from motorsport purely based on societal pressure, then that’s simply not accurate.

              Also, I’m sorry to say, but in general, women aren’t physically capable as men for motorsport. Men are generally more physically fit and are able to maximise their fitness than women can. To deny this is to deny basic, fundamental biology. Also, men do have a lot of stops along the way; for every woman who fails to enter f1, there’s a thousand men who fail to enter additionally. It’s just as hard for anyone to enter such a prestigious sport; gender has very, very little to do with it.

              And I’m sorry, but we don’t live in a fantasy land. Yes it would be great to encourage children that they can become whatever they want, but let’s be realistic; 95% of the time, you will not get your ideal job. I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid (Yes, I know, cliche), but I will never, NEVER be able to be one. It’s just not practical. And that’s the cold, hard reality for a lot of women. Sorry, but to be a great racing driver you need to take risks, which men are more likely to do. You need great spatial awareness, where men tend to score higher on spatial awareness tests. You need to be physically very fit, which is generally easier for men to achieve than it is for women.

              Like I’ve said time and time again, women have the same opportunities as men do in motorsport. If you’re good at what you do, you’ll be recognized. Also just to add, if someone telling you that you shouldn’t enter motorsport because of your gender is enough to discourage you from partaking, then I question how committed you really were to begin with.

            3. @gongtong I hope that’s meant to be ironic

          4. No one is ‘forcing’ women to drive, just an offering of more opportunity to overcome decades of being told that they can’t.

      5. @smartez Women might be as capable, but they are not as competitive and therein lies the whole difference.

        1. @balue do you think that is a genetic difference, or acquired from environment? Because if it’s an environmental factor, then surely you support this new category, as it may encourage women to join us in competitive pursuits. I guess that’s part of the point.

          1. @gongtong Yes I support this wholeheartedly even though I think it’s genetic as well.

        2. Anna Carassco is a world champion fighting against the men. Albeit it is Motorcycle racing rather F1 but none the less she is just as fast as the men!

        3. “Women might be as capable, but they are not as competitive and therein lies the whole difference”.

          @balue , that is so dumb its funny , bhahahahahahaha

          I have a wife and 2 daughters and they are far more competitive than myself and my 2 boys,
          Its entirely possible that so few women are race car drivers because so few women want to do it ! no ?

          1. @greg-c The only thing dumb and funny here is your reply. To have two women in the world represent all women just because you know them, and then to seriously put forth the idea that it’s all just because ‘they just don’t want to do it’ lol.

            1. @balue
              :)
              Nah , making blanket generalisations about women not being as competitive is dumb , meh , maybe not dumb , but it’s too late I’ve said it , ( damn edit button)
              I’m a lone man in a sea of women with sisters older and younger and female cousins and Aunties all fiercely successful and competitive,
              Except 1 who breeds chickens but she’s very content ,
              Just for the record I asked 17 Women if women in general are less competitive than men and got 16 absolute no’s and 1 “ don’t care what men think “
              Peace dude !

      6. Dave (@davewillisporter)
        10th October 2018, 18:25

        Uuurgh! So many tired arguments!
        The most important reason why this is a good idea is “inspiration!”
        You ask any male on the grid why motorsport as a career or who was your inspiration they will all give you a male driver figurehead or idol they looked up to as a kid. You ask Danica Patrick, she’ll say because I enjoyed it and I was good at it. No inspirational figurehead. You ask a young girl in racing these days, Patrick’s name is likely to come up. That’s it. End of! Raising the profile of women in motorsport will encourage a new generation and maybe in the future, grids will be more diverse.

        1. Amen! Thank you.

      7. Which other sport doesn’t have sex classes? Some even have weight classes and age classes. As long as the championship can generate enough commercial interest to support itself I don’t see why not. People are born different genetically but as long as their passion can attract enough fans.

    3. It’s a shame that there;s a need for a specific Women only series, I’d like to see women in the current racing series.

      But this is a good move, I don’t know how ‘big’ it will be – but it will showcase women racers and hopefully lead to them earning a seat in F1. From an F1 perspective, it would lead to a lot of interest and sponsorship revenue, there’ll be some insanely fast women out there who deserve a drive.

      1. @geekzilla9000 I can’t see it leading any further than being a temporary side-step for women drivers, after which the best graduate to international F3 or F2, and then they’ll be among the same drivers they were among before and still need to prove themselves all the same in order to reach F1.

      2. With Formula 1 filling up with exclusively male drivers whose only qualifications are sponsorship and/or a rich father who owns a team, I can’t see any objection to a women-only racing series with entry based on genuine merit. If rich, privileged but entirely unspectacular drivers of the likes of Stroll and Sirotkin can buy their way into F1 then W Series can only be good for racing.

        I’ve never understood why F1 teams don’t hire female drivers. The publicity generated would be enormous, the sponsorship market is bigger and I’m certain the majority of fans would welcome it. Getting rid of the outdated grid girls was a step in the right direction but it’s way beyond time we saw a full-time female driver.

    4. [copy-paste from my post in the round-up]

      I’ll try to guess what will happen:
      – Series has serious difficulties to field a large enough grid
      – Series champion will graduate to intenational F3 (or even F2) but fail to be competitive
      – This for a few years
      – Dwindling grid numbers
      – Series is being cancelled, organisers speak of “timing wasn’t right, glass ceiling still there, maybe think of entire women-only pyramid up until women-only F1”

      I hate to be so negative on this one, but it’s just wrong and Coulthard’s comments are just not correct. He’s talking about a glass ceiling preventing women racing drivers to succeed at the GP3/F3 level due to not enough funding, but invariably it has been lack of results (due to not enough talent) that has halted women progressing to F2 and F1.

      There are not a lot of women in racing, that is a problem. But that means that at F4 and F3 level, currently, there really aren’t enough quality women racing drivers to form a full F3 (nay, “W Series”) grid. So at best this will be a sidestep where girls like Calderon and Floersch could dominate for a year, to then return to mixed series and be in the mid-pack at best. And then the headlines will be “champion driver of W series having a hard time in International F3” or something like it.

      I would LOVE to see a woman in F1 one day. I do not think gender separation is the way to achieve it.

      1. @mattds

        I’ll copy your time line and then add the reality:

        – Series has serious difficulties to field a large enough grid
        – Series champion will graduate to intenational F3 (or even F2) but fail to be competitive
        – This for a few years
        – Dwindling grid numbers
        – Series is being cancelled, organisers speak of “timing wasn’t right, glass ceiling still there, maybe think of entire women-only pyramid up until women-only F1”
        Young girls who watched the series intently, because “I can grow up to be like her”, will have tangible dreams, instead of listening to parents/friends/teachers/whatever tell them they need to be realistic or follow a different career path
        in 10 years there will be an influx of women because they followed their dreams and desires. The higher number almost invariable means there will be a few of increased talent
        The more women who are driving, the increased talent pool. The increased talent pool, the more visibility
        The more visibility, the more young girls will see it as possible
        The more young girls seeing it as possible, the more young girls will be involved in racing at the lower tiers

        And so on and so forth. How do you think Indycar is at the level that it is at now? It basically lost everything when CART split but eventually someone had to say yes, I will go there. Then children watched their idols participate in Indycar and decided they wanted to race in Indycars. Their lower tier involvement was directed towards Indycar. The more people interested in Indycar, the higher chance of drivers with more talent that wanted to be Indycar drivers.

        Do you see how things work? I can’t really see a W series being incredibly successful today, but I can easily follow the logical steps to how it will at least increase the talent pool in 10 years, compared to what it might be otherwise.

        1. @neiana

          The experience from existing women’s sports is that women are not actually drawn to watch it in large numbers. The WNBA viewership is majority male. The viewers of the Women’s World Cup final between Japan and the US were majority male. The viewers of women’s grand slam tennis finals are majority male.

          Furthermore, the approach you argue for has already been tried for technical and IT jobs, where girls are shown and brought into contact with female role models, to little apparent effect.

          Ultimately, I see claims like yours a lot, where the lack of results of past attempts is consistently ignored in favor of hoping that it will work the next time it is tried.

          1. @aapje

            On the one hand, the WNBA and Women’s Soccer were never stepping stones for women to become part of men’s leagues. On the other hand, has the talent increased from the 1999 Women’s World Cup and the inception of the WNBA? If yes, then that immediately answers the problem of having more talented women in racing.

            Another thing is that you can introduce young girls to some great role models all you want, but if the rest of society continues to push them elsewhere then it’s not going to be much help. I’m not outright arguing that you are wrong, I’m saying your argument is lacking solid evidence to cover all the problems with how society treats the non-feminine dreams of young girls.

        2. @neiana I’ll be spectating and supporting in order to be a part of this change. And maybe in 10 or 20 years these comments threads won’t be so embarrassing.

          And maybe the women won’t be as good as the men. Who cares? Women don’t tend to win marathons. But they participate and inspire others.

          1. But they participate and inspire others.

            I sincerely hope so.

          2. @gongtong

            And maybe the women won’t be as good as the men. Who cares?

            The point of competitive sports is to be better than the competition. Many people obviously like to watch the most talented, which is why Barcelona has way more fans and viewers than amateur soccer clubs, F1 has way more fans and viewers than F2, etc.

            I strongly support people doing sports, both the elite and the uncompetitive like me. I just don’t get why people with less talent feel entitled to the same audience, sponsors & support as the more talented. I pay for my own equipment and am fine with not being allowed to compete in top events. I haven’t earned the right to be there by not being good enough.

            PS. I predict that in 10 to 20 years the comments will still be ’embarrassing’ because facts don’t change just because feminists want them to not be true. There are only so many people who ignore all the obvious evidence in favor of a narrative that they want to be true, but clearly isn’t.

        3. @neiana You are free to think that will be the consequence. Myself, I am more pessimistic and I can only think of what these young girls will think when even the “women series champ”, upon returning to a mixed F3 or F2 series, will be back of the pack again. What message do you think that will give? That girls NEED their own safe space series because they won’t hack it when racing with the boys? Is that something that would inspire young girls?

          Inspiration, to me, are women racing drivers like Lombardo or Mouton. Women who got there on merit and mixed it with the men. What better is there to inspire young girls than this?

    5. I hope this series is added to the BTCC support races to get great nationwide television coverage. Also, If it means that the winner has a greater chance of getting in F2, I’m all for it.

    6. @keithcollantine – any way you can migrate the comments on this topic from the round-up to this article instead? There’s been a fair amount of discussion already there.

    7. Several key details regarding the championship are yet to be confirmed, including whether drivers will be awarded FIA superlicence points

      If the ultimate aim is to advance the careers of femaie racers, this should be a given surely? What’s the point of the series if doing it won’t help you build the super licence points you need to build to get into F1?

      1. I think that generally the FIA are not keen to grant anyone the right to give FIA superlicence points just based on the paperwork @geemac.

        They have now announced the plans and are starting to get backers more backers, finding women to fill the seats and probably are talking with the FIA about the conditions they have to meet to be granted points. It could well be that the FIA will tell them they first have to prove they can field a full grid and show some solid level motorsport before points will be granted. The last series to get licence points right from the go was F2 when it was first relaunched with Palmer a couple of years ago.

    8. Women aren’t equal to men. A womens football team will always lose to a men’s team and that’s probably with the men scoring 80 goals to the women’s zero.
      It’s absurd to think they are equal, heck isn’t not even true.

      1. @yoshif8tures we’re not talking about football. there’s more information on the bbc article that is worth a read – https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/motorsport/45802348 – people like coulthard and newey are convinced there are no reasons women cannot compete with men. they’re not saying men and women are the same, but that they can drive racing cars to the same level. they might well be better than men.

        1. We’d best have a men’s only series then, to protect against the “female privilege”. Oh wait, THAT would be sexist….

          1. @f1bobby I don’t think you understand the concept of privilege in this context. This is a concept referring to economic or political advantages, not genetic ones.

            I don’t think there’s any evidence of women having these. So if it’s your motorsport career you’re worried about you still have a statistically far greater chance of getting into one of the numerous mixed gender categories. You’re entirely safe! Calm down.

    9. I think Victoria stopped racing due to no future on higher series for her after racing in Karts.

    10. Split about this. At one hand it’s great for women to have another place to race. At the other hand this isn’t how you show the world that they can compete on level ground. Hopefully the exposure will help interest more young female drivers in joining junior categories.

    11. I wonder what they’ll do with the small circuit map inside the cockpit ;)

      1. Careful. You’ll get lanced by the White Knights for any kind of humour around this “deeply important” issue.

        1. No. That made me laugh.

    12. The elephant in the room is that one of the most promising drivers who currently has a drive and has proved himself to be perfectly competent cannot get a drive. So what are the chances that a woman from this series will get a look in? I say next to nothing, I suspect these women will still have to cut their teeth in F2 before even getting a FP1 session in F1. Even after that I’d say more cars on the grid are needed before this W Series will see the dreams come to reality. Until you have 24/26+ cars on the grid plus a woman with some financial backing, you won’t see a woman racing a season in F1.

      1. If a talented woman has good funding or links to one of the teams on the grid there’s every chance she could make F1.

      2. Actually I think that if Ocon were female they would not be losing their seat.
        Basically if there were any female as good as Stroll or Ericson they would have gotten sponsorship and be on the F1 grid at least for as long as Danica and Simona have been racing in American series.
        Women don’t actually have to be as good as men to get F1 seats.

    13. Great idea!
      The fact is that motor sport is male dominated.
      Introducing this series allows women to compete at motorsport and if there are exceptional female talents out there they have a better chance of being found.

      I’m also thinking it would be interesting to see how people react to an incident like say the Vettel/Verstappen crash in Japan. I expect to see comments like “That would never happen in F1, it’s down to poor judgement and spacial awareness”.

    14. It’s very easy to get cynical or sexist about this, but virtually all sports have their own female championships. I’m just wondering whether seasoned drivers like Beitske Visser, Tatiana Calderon or Simona de Silvestro will choose a series like this or that it is for upcoming talent only. I think the latter.

    15. I can understand the arguments for and against the formation of this series. On the one hand, it smacks of positive discrimination (or possibly just discrimination – many male drivers would want a free-to-enter competition with a $500k prize and, presumably, decent media coverage) and segregating by sex is hardly the way to create an opportunity where men and women compete on equal terms. One has to wonder what will happen to the winners and losers of this series – will the winner get promoted to F2? what will happen if she’s uncompetitive and what does that say about the rest of the grid? what will happen if she’s super-competitive and will that mean other women in the series have lost out by this artificial selection-by-sex?

      On the other hand, obviously nothing has moved for years in terms of women getting into the higher levels of the sport, so some sort of “artificial” action was/is needed to bump things along. of course all of this assumes that women and men can compete equally (let’s assume they can) – there are no proven scientific reasons why they can’t so these efforts to allow it to happen for real are the best course of action, ethically and logically. One advantage that motorsport has is that the spectacle of the series will be no different to other series – the races will be good to watch (equal cars, hopefully some decent circuits). (you can argue men’s or women’s tennis is better than the other, but it is unarguable that the spectacle is different, which won’t be the case here.)

      On the whole the success of this series will be determined by what happens down the line – if a W series graduates into F1 then it can probably be said to have worked. if we see fewer and fewer women in the junior formulae (i.e. they get siphoned off into the W series, or spin-offs on the same theme) then it will have failed. ultimately, it would be better if female participation was higher in the traditional series but short of a quota system (riddled with problems) I cannot think of a way to influence the current status quo: a dearth of female participation.

      1. what will happen if she’s super-competitive and will that mean other women in the series have lost out by this artificial selection-by-sex?

        I know that is a theoretical question @frood19, but surely if a young woman wins the series, then storms F3, F2 that would only help their competitors to gain more respect if it was a tight battle.

        1. @bascb yes, I guess that would be logical. i’m not quite sure what I meant there! – my cynicism leads me to think that good female drivers might end up getting stuck in this series or ones like it.

          1. I get it, i must say I am quite sceptical of the series myself @frood19.
            And many of the more established female racers like Pippa Mann, Tatiana Calderon, Susie Wolff (ok, Ex Racer, but still), Powell, Di Silvestro, etc are not on board with this either, that doesn’t really give me much confidence it will succeed.

            Then again, if it does give us some interesting talents and opens up a way up for them it will be a boost to motorsports.

    16. I’m just here for the comments :D

      1. / sort by controversial :D

    17. If this is women only racing, then does that make F1 men only racing? I mean personally for that reason alone I don’t think this is a good idea. I can see a horrible situation where female drivers are bounced off to Formula W and F1 teams still won’t go near them so the whole point of the thing is lost. Encouraging more female racers is a great idea but making ‘their own series’ isn’t a good one – I mean it’s a car, there’s no difference between a female driven car and a male driven one? There shouldn’t be a male/female divide. Can’t help but think that rather than breaking the glass ceiling all this is going to do is reinforce it.

      I hope I’m wrong and it works out really well though.

    18. One of the reasons this series has been created is because women drivers find it difficult to progress past GP3 / F3 because they don’t get any sponsorship, not because they are lacking in any physical ability.

      The notion that women cannot compete with men in a sport like this due to physical ability is blinkered and held only by men who feel their patriarchy threatened and the pathetic women that follow their antiquated lead.

      Marathon runners and MMA fighters are classic examples of female skill, strength, and endurance.

      I reckon that once this series has done its job and brought a regular flow of female drivers to F1 and dragged it to the present, it’ll be wound down. Can’t wait till we’re there.

      1. Except that even ronda rhousey or however her name is written, said that she could never compete with men in the cage, Serena Williams said men are faster, hit stronger and last longer in the tennis court… People claiming f1 is not demanding are delusional, f1 driver lose around 8-10lb or 4kg per race, I’ve seen many good girl racing karts as kids.. but is apparent that as soon as you increase the speed and g force in higher formulas the physical advantage of men kicks in.. WNBA don’t jump high enough to dunk even when the height of the player is enough while smaller dudes in nba can dunk it easly, they also shoot less from 3s despite having the line closer to the ring.. f1 drivers have to be super fit, to the point they can do triathlon without problem

        Please get that idea out of your head, men and women will never be the same despite having the same opportunities.

      2. @Zim

        There are professional sports where men and women have the same physical challenge and where their results are timed, allowing a direct comparison. Running, swimming, etc. The consistent result is that the women’s champion is not merely slower than the male champion, but slower than many men.

        Since you brought up marathons: the top time for men is 2:01:39. For women it is 2:15:25. That is a huge gap.

        (Patriarchal?) hormones have a major effect. Not just on physical ability, but also on aging, making men die many years earlier than women. But I guess that is also a conspiracy by men, to make women lonely.

        1. that is also a conspiracy by men, to make women lonely.

          Such chauvinist patriarchal pigs!!

          1. Don’t worry, they don’t understand the differences between the sports they’re talking about and F1.

            I spoke about women being in MMA showing they had strength. Enough to destroy about ten F1 drivers.

            Maybe an F1 driver could run a marathon, but he would be slower than a female marathon runner showing they have endurance.

            We can just leave guys like this to talk among themselves. They’re just crying because their it’s not their world anymore :D

    19. I have to say I share most of the reservations people voiced here. I hope it works to bring more visibility to great female racers who can use that to get the career they deserve, but I could realistically also see it stalling because F2 remains too expensive, and as the silly season this year has shown, there isn’t a lot of place in F1 too move up (Russell might not have a spot despite winning F2), unless you have the millions to back it, so yes, perhaps sponsors would flock to the W-winner, but would that be enough? And if not, won’t that then reflect badly on the series, and by extension, on female drivers?

    20. In general I think this is a great idea. Women don’t have the same possibilities in the motorsport world, and this would be a good platform to show their value and then stepping up to F3, F2 or whatever. I don’t like the idea of women having a specific championship because I think they are capable of competing in the same league as men (think of Michelle Mouton or recently Ana Carrasco, who won the Supersport 300 World Championship a few days ago). Even if they fail to be competitive somewhere else, it’ll guide them and that’s a good thing.

      My main worry is the number of women competing nowadays… are they enough to fill up a grid?

      1. In the past we’ve seen very poor female drivers get test driver status in formula 1 teams, which suggests that women actually get more possibilities than men. A more likely reason is that far fewer women are interested in racing, which is not surprising, because we consistently see that women show less interest in more technical professions.

        In fact, women show less interest the more emancipated their country is. It’s far more common for women in Iran to become engineers than women in Sweden.

    21. I like the idea of highlighting women racers – but who in the name of god spawned that horribly cheesy and terribly written press release.

    22. is the package the same? I know it has an F3 chassis, but what about the engine? It equates the same performance as the international F3 series?

      Because if it doesn’t, and if they race in tracks that don’t give a comparison point, this is just stupid

    23. I’ve got a few logistical questions with regards to this championship.
      First, are there even 20 women in Europe / the rest of the world who would be able/eligible to compete in this series? F3 cars are not easy to drive, it’s definitely not a category for a first time open wheel racer.
      Second, what are the projected stepping stones, as I say F3 cars are not easy, and, from what I can tell, there are currently no women competing in British FF1600 or British F4. Then if they win, what next? Euro F3/GP3/F2 are all significantly more expensive than the $500k prize money on offer. Will drivers be allowed to race the next year if they win and bank the money towards a future drive?
      Third, will superlicence points be on offer? If the goal is more women in F1 then it seems rather pointless not to offer superlicence points, otherwise this category will quickly go the way of FR3.5.
      Fourth, will this be a standalone series, or will it form part of larger events? Similar to Other junior categories, this can only work if run as support races to other series.

      1. They say ‘up to 20 competitors.’ My expectation is that the field will be much smaller than that, perhaps around 10.

    24. I doubt this series makes any difference. The only problem with women in motorsports is that the women don’t really seem to be interested in becoming race car drivers. They are just less interested in it compared to men which means the numbers are low. As for actual top level motorsports opportunities I think women have it much easier than men. Look at carmen jorda and suzy wolff. Very little talent of worthy of f1 and there they were. Same thing with danica patrick. She was okay in indycars but in nascar she just wasn’t good enough. Being a woman driver in motorsport seems to help you more than anything.

      So I don’t know what this new championship will do to help it. In worst case scenario the ultimate winner of the this series will totally flop when they enter into men’s series. Or it just becomes a sidestep in a woman’s motorsports career when capable women are expected to do this women’s f3 “before they enter the real f3”. My guess? This formula w will struggle to even find enough drivers and teams.

      1. @socksolid

        The numbers are low because young girls are diverted away from having an interest by a number of social factors.

        * Oh that’s a male dominated sport, you’ll never make it.
        * Sponsors aren’t interested in women
        * Look at how many women are in it right now, only a couple! Do you think you can really do better than every other woman in history?
        * A woman’s place is…..

        Social pressure and a child’s brain will keep girls from trying. This championship will, at the very least, provide a tangible result. “Even if I get stuck there, at least I made it there.” or “There are more opportunities to race in W. It’s 20 available seats for people like me rather than just one or two.”

        The biggest thing is: “It’s possible.”
        Right now: “It’s almost impossible.”

        More women competing will mean more girls believing it’s possible. More girls believing it’s possible will mean more girls trying. More girls trying will mean more talent will make it up the ladder. More talent up the ladder will mean more girls will believe. The cycle continues until you have a significant number of highly talented women. That’s basically the result. And it’s a very positive result. I just hope that the result will eventually break the “glass ceiling” without resorting to running around in a bikini like Danica Patrick.

        1. All of that is pretty much your feeling and not facts. How many women have you asked about those things? How many girls genuinely want to drive race cars and are interested in cars? Not many. I’m pretty tired of hearing that sexism is always the reason why women are not doing something.

          Your points are also easy to prove wrong. Just the sponsorship claim is totally false. Danica was so popular with advertisers that she could get the top ride simply because the sponsorship alone was crazy profitable. She was 7th highest paid driver in that series at least in 2017. With her results (28th in 2017, 24th in 2016, 24th in 2015) with the best car and team that is pretty good. Maybe her glass ceiling was made of diamonds? Imagine how much money she would have made if she was a man? Probably nothing because nobody would have hired her based on those results. Sponsors don’t like women? Sponsors unconditionally LOVE women. In tennis 4 out of 10 highest paid players are women.

          1. @socksolid

            Danica was nowhere the best woman in racing but she was given the benefits because she decided to strip for sponsorship. I think you’ve confused something about sponsors; they like SEXY women who will act sexy and be sexy and wear sexy clothes for sponsorship.

            Do you think women would be so highly paid if Tennis players had to play in long sleeves and sweat pants all the time? No. They wear skirts and low cut shirts. Don’t be daft.

            1. She chose to the photos because she wanted to do it. She was not taken advantage of. She got paid as much as she asked!

              Your whole logic is stupider than anything I remember reading for really long time. And I mean really long time. Go look at those danica godaddy commercials and tell me how much skin do you see there… And you know what? When she does those commercial she gets paid. She negotiates and agrees on a price. sigh

    25. Califormula1fan
      10th October 2018, 12:35

      Look up Lael Wilcox. She will change your mind about what physical stature and gender means in sport. I have met her, she is barely 1.6m tall, but has out-rode the men in trans-continental bicycle racing. She only started a few years ago. Israel changed the rules mid-race during her very first race, disqualifying women riders while she was leading. She took second place in her second race after a 40 mile detour to get treatment for pneumonia.

      Don’t worry, none of the women in single seat open wheel racing will take your beer.

    26. Maybe team bosses, engineers, mechanics and the whole staff should be woman only. This is a good idea.

    27. As a second thought… what about trans women or trans men? (sorry if the term trans is offensive, no offense intended, it’s just my ignorance)

    28. Women aren’t equal to men, and men aren’t equal to women.
      What really angers me in the current PC society is, among other things, is we have a ‘gender-neutral’ society- its insane and absurd. Men and women are different in many ways, that’s just how our DNA makes us. Us men still take on a protector role (guys- go stay in a hotel on holiday and tell me instinctually you don’t take the side of the bed near the door- most guys will). Then women take a nurturing role with kids, for example.

      Women demand equal rights so they should pay half and open door for us blokes as well (ok, I am being playful here, guys pay for tea and open the door for your ladies :)

      But seriously if this series allows women (or young girls as well, say racing karts) to get an opportunity in lower class series to move up the formulas I cant see an issue with it. An all women series if fine but at some stage they need to prove they can mix with the faster racers, so far in 68 years of F1 I think only 1 female has scored an F1 point. It may be if they had more chance this would change but I think F1 will continue to be male dominated for now.

    29. If you’ve come here to say that women aren’t as strong as men and thus can’t compete in motorsport… just stop. You are making yourself look dumb.

    30. The single most important aspect of this Formula W (okay, “Series W”, major marketing fail) is that it must be broadcast freely, like Formula E was, and made available during the time that kids watch TV.

      This “pump-priming” approach is not there to give female drivers a series, it’s there to give kids new heroes, new options, new expectations. It’s about the longer view and it deserves our support.

    31. Why pick such a boring car? The most this can hope to achieve is the same exposure as F3 with this hardware. Why not give them something a little more modern?

      They could have made a decent series with forward thinking values, but the car just looks so off the peg. It’s got a boring archaic petrol engine and very basic aero.

      On second thoughts could this be the best racing series out there? No trundling along trying to get the software out of the Turkish language setting and no crawling for a third of the race behind a lapped car because the ‘air is too dirty’.

      I’m hoping for the best, but let’s see how the FIA can balls it up before launch (excuse the pun).

    32. This is a cynical money making scheme. Of course there will be some girls out there who might otherwise have spent their money on other hobbies and this extra bit of cash is what the industry is looking to grab, along with any advertsing revenue a woman would bring into the sport, but generally girls arn’t interested in taking up motorsport, even when handed equipment on a plate. Fernando Alonso’s sister being an infamous example.

      1. In fairness, in general men aren’t interested in being a racing car driver either – I am a personal trainer to teenagers with a talent in sports looking to take it to the next level, and when you start to impinge on their social life, the vast majority lose interest pretty quickly. Add in a strict diet, and you get down to about 1% in my experience.

    33. I’ll just share Pippa Mann’s tweet as I don’t think I could have put it any better.
      https://twitter.com/PippaMann/status/1049893597754068993

      What a sad day for motorsport. Those with funding to help female racers are choosing to segregate them as opposed to supporting them. I am deeply disappointed to see such a historic step backwards take place in my life time.

      For the record, I stand WITH those who feel forced into this as their only opportunity to race. I stand AGAINST those who are forcing the above mentioned racers into this position as their only solution to find the funding to race.

    34. Not a fan.

    35. I don’t understand why we need to have another series specifically for females. The fact that no female has races in F1 in 40 years probably shows that they are either not as interested in the sport or no female driver has at the moment the talent that Max, Ocon, Leclerc, Russell etc. have. Regardless, I hope for the best.

    36. If sufficient women were interested in and showed aptitude for the sport they’d be in the cars, full stop. Any sponsor with a grain of good sense will sign a female driver with any shred of ability simply because that is good PR and pulls in sponsor dollars.

      Two words: Danica Patrick.

      The reasons can be argued but the fact remains; those drivers do NOT exist.

      Note that phrase “FORCE greater participation”. Aren’t we already seeing far too many qualified and deserving drivers being forced out of F1 due to lack of seats? So lets start a series and try to FORCE more drivers onto the paddock. That will end well.

      “International stars” = Marketing Hype. It’s never going to take off. Interest in electric vehicles is higher than it’s ever been. How are those Formula E ratings going? Will interest in a female only motorsport be higher?

    37. “However, an all-female series is essential in order to force greater female participation.”

      Wow, what an unfortunate choice of words in the current environment. #triggered #metoo

    38. About time

    39. The white male privilege is going strong in these comments! The hypocrisy is rampant. Keep it coming gents lol.

    40. Can someone tell me the last woman to win a national championship in an open wheeler.

    41. Let’s see how good the racing is first.

      1. Best comment here – who cares! If it’s good, I will watch, if it’s not, I won’t – women only, rich kid only, children only, every level of racing is closed to a portion of society – hell, the best race I ever saw was a race for kids who had epilepsy and been seizure free for a decade – in theory they could race, in practice, the opportunities are not there for them. And yet they were fantastic, hard bit fair racers.

    42. However, an all-female series is essential in order to force greater female participation.

      Brings up visions of a female press-gang touring pubs and clubs on a Friday night and rounding up a bunch of drunken women who wake up the next day and find themselves incarcerated in a racing school for the next few years

    43. I kinda wonder, what went wrong in motorsport after during the 90s/00s? Before we already had Michele Mouton winning rallyes and fighting championship-battles, Desire Wilson, Giovanna Amati and Lella Lombardi participating in F1, Jutta Kleinschmidt winning the Paris-Dakar (which back then was still the toughest rallye on earth). Where would someone like Ellen Lohr, who had good fights with Schumacher, Frentzen and Wendlinger in german F3 end today, would it be better or worse? Somehow, there already was more female participation in motorsports, and it disappeared while the rest of society seemingly made progress concerning equal rights / women rights. Why is that?

      1. Lynn St. James was no slouch too.

        1. Oops that’s Lyn..

    44. This will fair about as well as the WNBA.

    45. I don’t mind this, though I would hope that it would have a limited life span, as at some point, women would be attracted to the sport and enter thru the same channels as men. However, A 6 race series, with 30 minute races, is not going to give enough experience to 1) move the women forward in their skills or 2) give a fair differentiation of the skills driver to driver, as one or two “luck” events (good or bad) will totally ruin the picture.

    46. Make it interesting, give the championship driver a test day with an F1 car.

    47. Personally I’d have preferred it if instead of a segregated championship they invested in a team to compete in GP3 and/or F2 and exclusively field female drivers. But if it’s going to give female drivers a bit more exposure, and a potential route into the likes of GP3 and F2, I suppose it’s not a bad thing.

    48. It was about time!
      Maybe some girls will show the men in F1 they have a place with them!
      Looking forward to see the races!

    49. I used to watch the BTCC programs on CH4 when they showed all the support races.
      There was a series, in GT style cars, for drivers up to the age of 17 I believe, which always had one or two female drivers in fields of about 20 cars.

      If I remember correctly the championship was won one year by one of the females, who beat her brother to the the title, yet a couple of seasons later her brother had graduated to another series and she had stopped racing.

      Perhaps some interviews with the young ladies who raced in this series could find out why they stopped racing.
      It’s easy to state positions that women don’t race because of ‘made-up-fact x’ or ‘made-up-fact-y’.

      Personally I’d like to hear real stories, from real women, who have raced but don’t any more as to the reasons why.

      So a challenge to Keith and Dieter, go interview some of these young ladies who’ve had some success but stopped racing and publish their stories.

      1. “So a challenge to Keith and Dieter, go interview some of these young ladies who’ve had some success but stopped racing and publish their stories.”

        Seconded! While I’m sure this has the potential to be fine, sites like this bringing great racers to our attention who are not getting the opportunities will only be a positive.

    50. Im a huge fan of Women only sports ,

      Point being – I refuse to watch men only beach volley ball,
      but I happily watch Women play it , :)

      1. Then you will be happy to hear that the IOC has decided that both the men and the women will wear the same uniforms for Beach Volleyball in 2019. And that doesn’t mean the men will be in thongs.
        As with all racing series, somewhere and somehow, somebody has to pay for it.
        If there are race tracks that can bring in spectators, or advertisers that will ante-up for the series, great. But most start-up series rely on entry fees from the racers to pay for the whole thing. This pushes the onus on providing the necessary $$$ down to the teams, the drivers who are usually the leaders of start-up teams and any sponsorship that the teams can drum up. Plus whatever resources come from friends and family.
        Women’s Golf seems to be reasonably successful, so there is hope for a W racing series. They also do this without any hint of comparison with the regular Men’s PGA events. But then a set of golf clubs and kit is a bit cheaper than the budget required for a successful F3 team.
        Will be interesting to see if this gets off the ground.

    51. Simona just drove at Bathurst in a V8 supercar , bloody hard work those cars
      She’s a champ

    52. “At the heart of W Series’ DNA is the firm belief that women can compete equally with men in motorsport.”

      So let’s put them in a ‘special’ series just for them thereby subconsciously reinforcing the fallacy that they can’t compete with men and so have to be treated differently to be able to get to do this in the first place.

      Let’s see how this goes then. And when the winners and runners up can’t graduate in to the “World of Men” because they aren’t actually quick enough, ONLY due to not competing against the pace setting benchmarks in MIXED racing series, I expect we will see organisers and promoters resort to ‘positive discrimination’ with F2 teams and maybe even F1 teams being made offers they can’t refuse, by the clubs backing this and sponsors after a quick gimmick, to put a W Series champion in a race seat just because she’s a woman and not because she’s the quickest candidate.

    53. Personally I think they are going at this backwards. The segregation needs to happen at the bottom not near the top. if there were girl classes in karts at different levels it would encourage girls to at least have a go. there would be a lot of girls who have brothers or dads racing who might get their turn if at the weekend karting round there was also a girls race to enter. And as the size of the talent pool grew so would the skill level. We then might find more lower category teams willing to take a chance on young girls because maybe the driver they wanted isn’t available but the girls national Kart champ with her prize money is willing to take the seat. So yeah I think separating them at the kids/amateur level in karts to encourage everyone to have a go, and then at the semi-pro/pro/Car level leave the sport as is.

    54. You watch if Lance has a sister that can drive how quickly we get a Woman into F1

    55. Will take at least a few hours to get lined up on the startgrid if they have to park inside the box… LOL

      Once a month the race is canceled – else its gonna be a bloody mess..

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