F1 announces female-only qualification process for esports series


Female drivers will get the chance to join official F1 esports team rosters with a new qualifying system

F1 Esports

A new female-only qualification programme has been announced by F1

Joe Brady/Getty Images

Formula 1 has announced a female-only qualification route for its official esports championship.

It comes as part of F1’s concerted efforts to improve inclusion and achieve greater diversity within the sport.

The new qualification process will be available to female-only participants who will compete for a spot on official F1 team esports rosters ahead of this year’s championship final.

F1 has added the female-only W Series to the support bill at several rounds later this year as part of the push but the new esports project is the first initiative to focus on the virtual side of its racing.

Dubbed the ‘Women’s Wildcard’, a one-week qualifying window beginning on May 3 will be open for potential competitors to set a time good enough to make it to the next phase.

Related article

Those who set the fastest laps will then progress to the next stage and be invited into the exhibition event at the end of the month for the chance to become an official F1 esports pro by being drafted.

The event will be livestreamed on F1’s official YouTube, Facebook and Twitch pages.

A statement from F1 said that the concept was part of its efforts to create a greater level of diversity within Formula 1 as part of its initiative.

“The introduction of the F1 Esports Series Women’s Wildcard follows the reaffirmed commitment to improving diversity and inclusion Formula 1 has made as part of the WeRaceAsOne initiative for 2021 and beyond.”

Ahead of the ’21 season, F1 outlined how it intends to continue improving diversity as part of its WeRaceAsOne initiative, highlighting targets it hopes to hit.

Nine areas have been focused on for the year centred around diversity and inclusion, sustainability and community.

New scholarships, intern programmes and greater engagement with STEM educators aim to increase diversity. F1 aims to cut down on single-use plastics in the paddock and transform shipping methods throughout the season as well as develop remote operations for a race weekend to cut down on 70 tonnes of freight.

Local community projects in collaboration with race promoters, the inclusion of W Series racing and a shift to sustainable fuels are also highlighted as key aspects of its initiative.