It is no secret that, for motorsport, cash is king. However, gender is king too, especially when you look into the current Formula One community. In Formula One there are no women team principals, a few women in important positions, and even fewer female drivers. It is worth noting there will be none on the 2022 grid. The last female driver in Formula One was over 45 years ago, and there have been none since. Although they would be allowed to drive if they qualified.
Recently, Caitlyn Jenner announced that she will enter a car in the 2022 W-series. While cash is king (or queen) there is more than just money to Jenner buying a team. It is the well deserved PR that women in motorsports deserve. It shows the wider progress of women in motorsport. Now is the time for women to be given a chance to enter elite motorsport levels instead of just watching from the sidelines.
What is the W-series?
The W series is a new initiative launched in October 2018, that provides equal opportunities for women to progress to the upper levels of motorsport. But, most importantly, it is free. That means that in the W-series, cash is not key as it is with Formula 1, 2, 3 and karting. The goal of the W-series is to inspire and empower women to be a part of motorsports on equal terms with men. Women have had enough of being sidelined.
The cars that run in the W-series are all mechanically identical. It is a Tatuus F3 T-318; a race car homologated to the latest FIA F3 specification. The fact that the car is a similar one driven by Formula 3 drivers, also shows that women are ready to race alongside men. Furthermore, the fact that the cars are all the same means races and championships will be won by the most talented driver rather than the wealthiest.
In Formula 1, that is the complete opposite. There is no doubt that Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin have talent, otherwise they wouldn’t have been in Formula One in the first place. However, the HAAS car is significantly less powerful than Max Verstappen’s Red Bull. If Formula One did the same as the W-series, it would be very interesting.
Last year’s champion Jamie Chadwick is now only 40 points away on her super license from being able to take part in a Formula One test. Chadwick is very talented. She has won two out of the three seasons of the W-series and could soon make history as the first woman to race in a Formula One Grand Prix. William’s Racing knows there is talent. Chadwick joined the team as a developmental driver back in 2019.
However, there are still too many obstacles that women face in order to compete on the same level as men. The W-series is only the first step in women entering the motorsport industry, and we can’t wait to see what the 2022 season will bring. The W-series will run alongside Formula One for eight Grand Prix in 2022. Will Chadwick bring home the title for the third year running? Only time will tell.
Kaitlyn Jenner bought a team? What does it really mean?
Some may say that the only reason Jenner bought a team is for money. But it is not. Jenner is an Olympic champion who knows the world of sports at the highest level. Not only that, Jenner is an important media personality. Her buying a team and running it is more than just a publicity stunt.
Jenner loves motor racing and is passionate about women in sport at every level. In her role as team principal, Jenner will oversee the day-to-day running of her ‘Jenner Racing team.’ Jenner will manage the driver line-up and the acquisition of sponsors that are aligned with her mission of promoting women in sport and motorsports.
The Jenner Racing Team is ‘in it to win it,’ in her words. Jenner is famous, has a lot of social media clout and will give the W-series the media coverage it deserves. It’s about time women are celebrated for their careers in motorsport instead of leaving them in the background. Having someone with such a high level of media attention will raise awareness of the W-series, giving it the attention it deserves.