Six more drivers were selected via an on-track and interview evaluation process, with two more left to be announced.
2019 W Series title-winner Jamie Chadwick will return, and will be the only champion able to defend her title. The rules were changed following the first season to prevent future championship winners from re-entering the series.
2019 runner-up Beitske Visser, who also finished ninth in class with the all-female Richard Mille LMP2 team at Le Mans last year, will also be entering again.
2021 W Series driver entry list
|Tasmin Pepper||South Africa|
When is the 2021 W Series championship?
The 2021 W Series season starts on June 26 at Paul Ricard in France, during the French Grand Prix weekend before supporting the Formula 1 World Championship at a further seven rounds.
The eighth and final round will be held on October 30 at Mexico City.
Where will W Series race?
The series will race at eight locations around the globe, on each occasion supporting the Formula 1 World Championship. The season begins in Europe and is due to conclude in October with an American double-header in Austin and Mexico City.
However, Formula 1 has been cautious about its own plans, which are highly susceptible to Covid-19 restrictions. Any disruption is likely to affect the W Series schedule.
W Series schedule: 2021 calendar
The W Series calendar is as follows:
|1||Le Castellet, France||June 26, 2021|
|2||Spielberg, Austria||July 3, 2021|
|3||Silverstone, UK||July 17, 2021|
|4||Budapest, Hungary||July 31, 2021|
|5||Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium||August 28, 2021|
|6||Zandvoort, Netherlands||September 4, 2021|
|7||Austin, USA||October 23, 2021|
|8||Mexico City, Mexico||October 30, 2021|
What’s the W Series race format?
In its debut year, the W Series race usually took place on a Saturday. Drivers would then spend Sundays undertaking sim work to prepare for upcoming races.
At the 2019 Assen round there was a one-off reverse grid race held the day after the main race, with the starting order decided by championship standings.
Though the final race format details are yet to be announced, it’s likely we’ll see more experimentation in a bid to spice up the show.
What do you get for winning W Series?
The W Series winner receives $500,000 to go towards their racing career, whilst another $1m is divided up between the rest of the competitors on a sliding scale dependent on where they finished in the championship.
Where can I watch W Series?
W Series will be broadcast live by Channel 4 “across all platforms”.
All qualifying sessions and races will be covered, with David Coulthard and Lee Mckenzie leading a presentation team which also includes Ted Kravitz and Billy Monger.
You’ll be able to watch any qualifying sessions or races on-demand on the All 4 digital catch-up service.
W Series Chief Executive Officer Catherine Bond Muir commented on the Championship’s new deal with Channel 4:
“Live free-to-air motorsport coverage is rare, but our partnership with Channel 4 is a key part of W Series’ plan to create more visible role models to inspire girls and women to be a part of motorsport, whether that is on track, on screen or behind the scenes, and the expertise and insight provided by our brilliant commentary team will be instrumental to our efforts.”
What cars race in the W Series?
W Series features spec machinery, with all entrants competing in Tatuus–Alfa Romeo F3 T-318s.
In its first year, race team HiTech Racing operated and serviced all the entrants’ machines, which carried championship livery and were rotated, with drivers assigned different cars each weekend. Drivers also had a different mechanic at each round in an effort to level the playing field.
All cars are fitted with Hankook tyres.
What have drivers said about W Series?
W Series has received praise and criticism in equal parts. No less than seve-time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton came out in support of the championship when it was announced as an F1 support series:
“I’ve grown up and come through the other ranks, so I think it’s great what they have already done. And I think it’s definitely very, very important that they’re here on the global scale.
“When we talk about diversity, people often think that we’re talking about having more people of colour. It’s not just that, it is having more women involved. At the moment it is a male-dominated sport and that does need to change.”