W Series will join F1’s support bill at this year’s U.S. and Mexico Grands Prix, it has been announced.
The all-new races represent the final two rounds of an extended eight-round 2020 W Series. It is the second season of the single-seater race championship for female drivers after its launch last year.
Both rounds take place on successive Saturdays at the meetings, which also features F1 qualifying as the main draw.
Round 7 takes place at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on October 24th. A week later, both series travel to Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, where the final round of W Series will be contested on October 31st.
W Series joining F1 is the latest success for the brand, which enjoyed a thrilling first season across six European-based races in 2019.
Britain’s Jamie Chadwick lifted the inaugural $500,000 USD championship after an exhilarating final race at Brands Hatch. Chadwick has since been named a development driver for the Williams F1 team and will continue that role in 2020.
The opening six races on the 2020 W Series calendar will accompany the DTM German Touring Car championship across Europe.
W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir said: “We at W Series are absolutely delighted that, in only our second season, our championship has been welcomed by Formula 1, and we’re utterly thrilled that the final two races of the 2020 W Series season will therefore take place as part of the Formula 1 platform.”
“Our two all-new races will follow six races on the DTM platform, making a very varied, extremely exciting and truly international eight-race championship, in eight countries across the globe. I’m particularly pleased that W Series will now stage races outside Europe, and the USA and Mexico are of course both very important new territories for us.”
“Interest in and enthusiasm for W Series was enormous in our first season, 2019, among media and fans alike, and the addition of two all-new W Series races on the Formula 1 platform will inevitably increase that enthusiasm and interest.”
“A lot of work has gone into stitching the W Series/Formula 1 deal together, but above all I want to thank W Series’ drivers, the brave and talented young women who captured the imagination of the sporting world last summer. Mark my words: they’ll do so again this year, from May to October, all over the world.”
Advisory Board Chairman for W Series and ex-F1 driver David Coulthard said: “Despite having raced in 246 Grands Prix, between 1994 and 2008, I’ve never driven in a Grand Prix at either Circuit of the Americas or Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, because neither racetrack was part of the Formula 1 calendar during my time as a driver. But I’ve commentated on a number of fantastic Grands Prix at both of them, and I can say with confidence that they’re both great racetracks.”
“For W Series, the announcement of two all-new Formula 1 support races is a truly impressive development, and it demonstrates very clearly the extent to which W Series has quickly been widely accepted as part of the international motorsport calendar.”
Ross Brawn, Managing Director for Motorsport at Formula One, added: “We are delighted to welcome W Series to two such spectacular events of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship such as those in Austin and Mexico City.”
“In just one year, W Series has contributed significantly to increasing interest in the topic of diversity and inclusion in motorsport”
“We are convinced that our sport must offer equal opportunities for men and women to compete together – it is no coincidence that improving the diversity of the F1 grid by supporting and promoting driver talent from under-represented backgrounds is one of our strategic objectives.”
“The ability for the great crowds who traditionally attend the Austin and Mexico City Grands Prix to see these talented female drivers up close will definitely further raise the awareness of the importance of inclusion and diversity in motorsport.”