W Series

Please discuss here all your remarks and pose your questions about all racing series, except Formula One. Both technical and other questions about GP2, Touring cars, IRL, LMS, ...
ubuysa
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W Series

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Anybody else watch the inaugural W Series race from Hockenheim on 4th May (Saturday)? It was on Channel 4 in the UK but the drivers were from all over the world.

See https://wseries.com/ and https://www.motoringresearch.com/car-ne ... 019-guide/.

The races last 30 minutes plus one lap and the opening race couldn't be described as nail-biting and it's clear that the TV production team are still finding their way. The woman in the commentary box with David Coulthard was as useful as a chocolate teapot!

They will rotate the cars and engineers between the drivers to ensure fair competition, but the big problem for me was telling who's who in the race. Too many cars have the same livery and you can't read the driver names on the sidepods except in closeups.

The TV production, and the driver's skills, can only get better. Plus there are only 6 races in the current series, so I'll probably watch them all. You have to give these things a good try out at least. :)

zac510
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Re: W Series

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I watched it too. Debated starting a thread lest it degrade into one of those kind of threads, but let's see how it goes.

Agreed the TV production was terrible! I enjoyed it though; it was great to see the women treated all as equals throughout the race.
I got the impression some of the women are still learning the car/tyres, judging by a few drivers particularly Koyama (who did well in the pre-season qualification) coming strong later in the race gapping others ahead by big margins. It did create a lot of movement up and down the field. Would like to find the fastest lap times but can't find them published anywhere yet.

It's easy to criticise it but I thought it was a great start to the series. Of course there were rough edges but they can be improved easily. It's a great addition to motorsport and a fantastic opportunity for these women competing to build their careers.

I agree with your comment about identifying the drivers. I guess that they have painted the cars similar colours so that when the rotate the chassis they don't have to repaint it entirely?

Sawtooth-spike
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Re: W Series

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I watched it too.

Its a shame this needs to be a thing as I can't see any reason why woman can't race men in F1 aside from glass ceiling issues. That being said, I am glad there is an opportunity for them to show who had the most driving talent rather than the prettiest (which there have been some female drive who have sold them self on)

Racing was fine. I think the cars would have suited a shorter track.

The TV production was shocking. Sounds was bad and the lady commentator was not good. They should be able to improve all of this

The cars need to be more distinctive. It was very hard to see who was who.

Overall, good start, room for improvement. Like they way they equalised the cars.
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gshevlin
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Re: W Series

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It is not often that a new series ends up with a live slot on a UK terrestrial network, so that in itself is good.
I watched the race live, and the post-race ended up being rushed because of the safety car, which made the race run long for both TV and circuit use.
I have mixed feelings about WSeries, but the racing was pretty good. Given the problems many female drivers have in finding any sort of sponsorship for single-seater racing (Alice Powell, who finished second on Saturday, has not been able to drive in single-seaters for several years), any single-seater series not requiring women to show up with large bags of money is a good thing.
The past record of motor racing in dealing with women drivers is not a good one. Most of the women trying to break into top flight single-seaters have either been marginally talented but with lots of backing (Giovanna Amati, Milka Duno, Carmen Jorda) or have been talented but ended up being poorly treated by the sport on their way up (Katherine Legge, Simona Di Silvestro, Alice Powell, Pippa Mann). WSeries is a level playing field - a rotation of identical cars, engines and mechanics means that set-up and driving/racing skill will become the main determinant of success.
Yes, the commentators need to calm down (some of the gabbling seemed to be a triumph of words over content), and there need to be some human interest stories about the various paths that the drivers took to get to the series in the first place. They also need to do something about the car liveries, since many of them look way too similar. It's a balancing act between having a strong logo for the series as a whole (which is being funded centrally, so that makes sense) and the need to have some individuality for the drivers and their cars.
It will be interesting to see if the series can build this season.
It will also be interesting to see how other female drivers react to the series as an option. Sophia Floersch, for example, has been critical of WSeries, but she picked the wrong series to drive in this year (it was cancelled and she had to switch series), and now her racing series has its next round in 2 months' time, by which time 4 WSeries races will have been run, providing the winning drivers with publicity that she cannot hope to match.
It will also be interesting to see if WSeries can find a title sponsor for next year, and increase its racing to maybe include 2 races a weekend, or a large number of race weekends.
Right now, WSeries is no threat to any other series, but Formula E has previously given female drivers their own test day, and if the series captures the public's imagination, it may start to gain sponsors, and also show up the deeply introverted nature of F1 once again.

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Big Tea
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Re: W Series

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I have not been following the series, but have to ask as everyone is saying it is a level playing field,
How do the drivers get chosen to take part?
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gshevlin
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There was a multi-part selection process involving physical tests, interviews, and track testing in different types of racing cars. They started with 50+ candidates, whittled it down to 28, then finally down to 18 drivers plus 2 reserves.

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Big Tea
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Re: W Series

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gshevlin wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 10:03 pm
There was a multi-part selection process involving physical tests, interviews, and track testing in different types of racing cars. They started with 50+ candidates, whittled it down to 28, then finally down to 18 drivers plus 2 reserves.
So was it (or did it seem to be ) a fair system or were those with the contacts pushed?

I know nothing is 100% fair, but some things are more equal than others.

I was told about the fair trade 'thing' that it is good as long as the producer in the 'right' church or party or what ever, otherwise they still have to compete against those they had to before, but also those who get the extra aid.

If it is just another way of moving the chosen ones up the list it just makes it harder for those not chosen.

Not criticizing it for that, just wondering.

It is always easier for someone to point at someone doing something and then say 'I want to do that' than if they had not 'leaders' (for want of a better word) to show it can be done
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bill shoe
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Re: W Series

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This thread sparked my interest so I watched qualy and race on YouTube.

Qualy was damp and difficult, but still had an alarmingly wide spread of times.

The race looked like a typical GP3-type event. One large unforced error, lots of close racing, and it was difficult to pass. Par for the course. The race did not have a large spread like qualy, instead the field stayed together in a couple long clumps. I wouldn’t have known it was women if it wasn’t mentioned. I thought the second announcer was fine-- any announcer who is paired with Coulthard knows to leave all the technical driving comments to him.

Not sure if the series will achieve anything or has a long-term future, but the on-track product looked OK.

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Big Tea
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Re: W Series

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bill shoe wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 10:39 pm
This thread sparked my interest so I watched qualy and race on YouTube.

Qualy was damp and difficult, but still had an alarmingly wide spread of times.

The race looked like a typical GP3-type event. One large unforced error, lots of close racing, and it was difficult to pass. Par for the course. The race did not have a large spread like qualy, instead the field stayed together in a couple long clumps. I wouldn’t have known it was women if it wasn’t mentioned. I thought the second announcer was fine-- any announcer who is paired with Coulthard knows to leave all the technical driving comments to him.

Not sure if the series will achieve anything or has a long-term future, but the on-track product looked OK.
I suppose how those viewing responds will mean if it stays on air or not. For the first few weeks it will be a mix of those who actively sought it out as they knew of it and those who 'happened into it'.

By mid season it wil become a matter of those who stay and those who go there by word of mouth and we get some real idea of the numbers. Then again, much will depend on how much advertisers will pay for a slot during the program and if it makes ends meet.
When arguing with a fool, be sure the other person is not doing the same thing.

gshevlin
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Re: W Series

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On Saturday, there were no adverts at any point in the race, even during the safety car period (which did give the commentators some challenges in talking to fill up the time - there was a fair amount of guff talked in that period, because they had 3 laps under the safety car to remove the cars in the hairpin run-off area).
There were advert slots during the cool-down lap, and before and after the podium ceremony. With a race duration of 30 minutes plus 1 timed lap, that is do-able.
We will have to wait and see, but right now, with the format of the series, all of the drivers should have an equal chance to impress. There are no drivers with deep pockets, "development" engines, and expensive engineers.

Stef
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Re: W Series

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gshevlin wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 9:29 pm
It is not often that a new series ends up with a live slot on a UK terrestrial network, so that in itself is good.
I watched the race live, and the post-race ended up being rushed because of the safety car, which made the race run long for both TV and circuit use.
It was a timed race, so no. It was rushed because they planned it like this.

Tzk
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Re: W Series

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I‘m unsure if this series helps women by giving them a platform to promote them or if it sidelines them by gathering all women in a single series.

Anyways, i hope that more (talented) woman enter motorsports. This is one of the few sports where men and women can compete head to head.

zac510
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In other sports we have U14, U18, U21, junior, senior divided by sex etc at club, national and international levels so I don't see why this kind of structure shouldn't exist in motorsport too.

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strad
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Can't find the video I have of Janet Guthrie being inducted into the hall of fame but she said something to the effect of never having seen where what a driver has between their legs making a difference.
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marmer
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Re: W Series

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zac510 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 8:16 am
In other sports we have U14, U18, U21, junior, senior divided by sex etc at club, national and international levels so I don't see why this kind of structure shouldn't exist in motorsport too.
most sports devisive factor in performance is the phiycal ability of the athlete. so it makes sense to group kids and young adults away from senior players espically if there is contact in the sport like football or rugby.
same goes for females in male sport it would be unfair. calling from real life its actually quite shocking the difference.
while in school a girl in the same year as myself was a youth prospect at Blackburn rovers. she convinced the p.e teacher to allow her to play with my class and we where nothing speical i can assure everyone certainlly no one in a youth team. she could't compete with us at all apart from the techincal side but even then she did'n't get the same time on the ball as we could close her down quicker than she was used to.

back to motorsport. there is far less phyiscal importance on a driver. and woman have proven that they can reach a high level albit the numbers have been small. i think any arugment that females are given the short straw in motorsport is not true a lot of females have been pushed far beyond there actual ability just on the fact that they are females and that somehow gives them a right to be there.

i suppose W series will allow us to find out who is actually talented but i still feel its pointless. say chadwick wins this series it won't get her into f1 it might not get her a seat in f2 so she might have to do euro f3 which she could have done this year.