Jamie Chadwick, Williams, 2019

Williams appoints Chadwick as development driver

2019 F1 season

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Williams has appointed MRF Challenge champion Jamie Chadwick to its Racing Driver Academy programme.

The 21-year-old only moved into single-seaters two seasons ago after racing in the Ginetta Junior and British GT championships. She won the GT4 category title in the latter with team mate Ross Gunn two years ago.

Chadwick moved over into single-seaters in 2017 in the BRDC F3 last year. She took six wins in the 15-round 2018-19 MRF Challenge series, run on three tracks in the Middle East, to clinch the title.

She is currently leading the inaugural W Series, a championship exclusively for women races, having scored a win and a second place in the first two races. Williams team principal Claire Williams visited the opening round of the W Series in Hockenheim earlier this month, which Chadwick won.

“Promoting women in motorsport is extremely important and having a female role model as part of our Driver Academy will hopefully inspire young girls to take up racing at a young age,” said Williams. “We hope to show that motorsport is inclusive and exciting, be that as a driver or on the engineering side. Jamie is a great talent and I look forward to working with her.”

Chadwick will attend three F1 races with the team, beginning at the British Grand Prix, and conduct development work in the team’s simulator.

“It is a great honour to be joining the Williams Racing Driver Academy,” said Chadwick. “The time in the simulator is a fantastic opportunity to aid with my development.”

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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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24 comments on “Williams appoints Chadwick as development driver”

  1. LB (@burden93)
    20th May 2019, 9:33

    Great news! Great talent and extremely fast, hopefully it goes well and is the beginning of the journey into F1

  2. Fantastic news and thoroughly deserved. I was in Hockenheim for the first W series race and she was excellent.

  3. A 21-year-old whose highest motorsports experience so far is in Formula-4-level machinery.

    Yeah, that’s just the right bio to make it as development driver … for Williams F1.

    1. So? It’s development driver, not main driver… They are helped through their careers…

      1. I think the view being given here is that this is not a merit based decision but a PR driven decision.

        1. True. Better than Wolff though. Chadwick has at least won races outside of karting.

    2. Oliver Turvey was McLaren’s “development driver” at last weeks Barcelona test. He’s a fair bit older than 21 (he’s 32 now) and never won a championship.

      1. Never won a championship but has won lmp2 in lemans, number of 2nds, thirds and fourths in f3, f3.5, formula bmw and lemans. And has a degree engineering and his masters thesis is or will be about f1 aerodynamics. Pretty good for a “development driver who has never won a championship”.

  4. Surely it’s more of a punishment than a reward, given Williams current state?

    1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
      20th May 2019, 13:06

      I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to drive for them.

  5. In terms of women being succesful in F1, Chadwick & Floersch are definitely the two who can might be able to cut it. However i do think Tatiana Calderon could become the first woman to reach F1 probably with sauber due to her having good backers but this could be a killer for women in F1 because Calderon is simply not good enough.

    However Chadwick & Floersch might be competitive say the least given a competitive a car

    1. No they are not. Chadwick’s highest finish in british f3 was 8th and 9th. She had one win because she started from pole because of reversed grid. That’s british f3, not even international f3 or gp3. Is 8th good enough for f1? No. If she was a male all he could do was to dream of f1 with those kind of finishes.

      Sophia Flörsch is even slower and her only claim to f1 seat is her big crash in f3. Her best finish in f3 was 15th. That’s on the same level has tatiana calderon and carmen jorda. Sure they both had f1 contacts.. If that is f1 future talent level performance to you then we obviously are looking at very different things.

  6. 1 – 0 for those who thought the W series was a good idea (personally, I was and still am on the fence about it). Happy for her!

    1. It’s a lot better than Formula E…

  7. This could be a disaster for Jamie. I doubt if she will ever get the opportunity to drive a Williams F1 car. Williams will have probably signed her up to some long and complicated contract, which could well hinder her chances with a better team. That said, she can’t be any worse a driver than Robert Kubica, not that she’ll be taking over his seat when he’s given the boot, unless she can find a few £million.

    I can’t help feeling Williams are just grabbing headlines from W Series in an effort to keep their few sponsors.

  8. Praisable initiative from Williams, but given their status and challenges a questionnable one as well.

  9. Let’s hope she carries her good momentum through F3 and up the development ladder. She’s a talented racer and hopefully will keep climbing the steps towards f1

  10. I hope to see Jamie and Beitske Visser in F2 next year

    1. Same. Visser was unlucky in Germany to miss out on most of quali with a mechanical issue. I really think W series will between the two of them (and maybe Powell).

    2. GtisBetter (@)
      20th May 2019, 16:08

      Visser already did 3.5 and gp3 and wasn’t fast enough to be considered for F2, though it’s also hard to say if other drivers had more sponser money. Chadwick has to beat Visser by some margin to be considered top F2 material. It’s not that they are slow, they could probably beat half the F2 field, but the top of F2 is just on another level and combined with the best resources/teams mean they are the ones who will most likely to win and go to F1. I don’t see either of them at that level yet, so F3 might be a better place to go next year and take it from there. You only get a couple of F2 years to prove you are worth it and then your f1 options are done.

      I do think it’s great that Williams does this. Chadwick is a better rolemodel then most woman drivers and if it helps get young girls and their parents more excited for racing, the better.

      1. It’s not that they are slow, they could probably beat half the F2 field

        They could not beat half of the field in british f3 or f3.5. What makes you think things would be different in f2 where all the driver skill is concentrated from international and national f3 championships?

  11. I’ve been following the W series with interest but this is a pure PR move from Williams. She’s nowhere good enough to be close to a F1 car.
    The state of Williams today is sad.

  12. Yes but can she develop a roll of film?

    1. BlackJackFan
      21st May 2019, 6:21

      I think you must be older than we thought… ;-)

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