The second season of W Series has been cancelled entirely, with the decision blamed on the “difficulties presented by Covid-19”.
Racing will not now resume until 2021, when the series will be “bigger and better” and support “a number of Formula 1 grands prix”.
The first six races of the W Series season were due to be held in conjunction with the DTM German touring car championship, starting in St Petersburg.
But a revised DTM calendar has removed the Russian round, as well as the Anderstorp, Monza and Brands Hatch events that would have hosted W Series races.
The absence of the international W Series paddock is also likely to make infection control measures easier for DTM, which is hosting its first races behind closed doors.
The final two dates on the W Series calendar had been as support races to Formula 1 grands prix in America and Mexico, which have not yet been confirmed for this year.
Catherine Bond Muir, chief executive of W Series, said that the championship did not have the resources to hold a revised international championship while the Covid-19 pandemic continued.
“After the resounding success of W Series’ debut season in 2019, our decision not to stage on-track races until 2021 is not one that has been taken lightly,” said Catherine Bond Muir, W Series chief executive.
“However, we are already working on an exciting new W Series race calendar for 2021, and we are delighted to be able to confirm that W Series races will feature on the support cards of a number of Formula 1 grands prix next year, including the 2021 United States Grand Prix and the 2021 Mexican Grand Prix.
“The 18 women who had qualified to race in the 2020 W Series represent 12 different countries, and the eight circuits on which they were due to race this year are located in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America and Central America.
“Delivering an international calendar of the kind that W Series requires, so as to take W Series’ diversity and inclusion message to girls and women globally, while prioritising during a global pandemic the health and safety of our drivers, our staff and the many other people who make W Series events such a success, requires resource at a level beyond the scope of a brave new start-up such as W Series.
“However, now that we have taken the very difficult but ultimately unavoidable decision to end any uncertainty surrounding our 2020 plans, we will focus our energies clearly on 2021, when we will resume our on-track racing programme, bigger and better than ever before.
The series is launching an esports tournament later this month and is continuing to offer support to its drivers.
“W Series has had an incredible impact on the world of motorsport, and we were excited to have them join our schedule this year,” said Ross Brawn, managing director of motor sports at F1. “It is a big disappointment for all of us that due to the difficulties presented by COVID-19 the events will not take place, but we are looking forward to some exciting racing in 2021 when W Series returns.”