W Series to join Formula One for 2021

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The all-female single-seater racing championship W Series is set to join the FIA Formula One Championship support bill at eight races for the coming season.

The series' first season was in 2019; it featured twenty drivers contesting six races. British racing driver Jamie Chadwick secured the title in a close fight with Beitske Visser. Following the initial success, the series was se to return, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the organizers to put the action on hold.

However, W Series will be back in 2021 and it has now announced that it will join forces with Formula One, racing at the Grand Prix weekends.

The 2021 W Series calendar will include eight Formula 1 support races. The precise locations and dates of the rounds will be announced in due course.

Commenting on the announcement, Ross Brawn, Managing Director of Motorsport, Formula 1, said: "We are excited to announce our 2021 season this week and look forward to a thrilling season with an exciting mix of new races and established circuits that we missed during our unprecedented 2020 season.

"It is a really important moment for us to welcome W Series as partners for eight races this season. They have been a beacon to many since they began racing in 2019. We believe it is incredibly important to give everyone the chance to reach the highest levels of our sport and their partnership with Formula 1 next season shows our determination and commitment to showcase their exciting series and the importance of building greater diversity across the sport,” he concluded.

Catherine Bond Muir, W Series Chief Executive Officer, said: "After such a successful inaugural season [2019], we at W Series are absolutely delighted to be partnering with Formula 1 for 2021 and beyond.

"Formula 1 is by some margin the world’s premier motor racing series, and, when we promised that W Series would be bigger and better in the future, partnering with Formula 1 was always our ultimate objective. There is no doubt that, now that W Series will be run alongside and in collaboration with Formula 1, our global reach, impact and influence will be increased significantly.

"Everything that made W Series so popular and successful in 2019 will remain. The cars will be identical, the racing will be close and competitive, and our mission will always be to further the interests and prospects of female racing drivers,” she added.