W Series has sealed a partnership with Formula 1 that will see the all-female single-seater championship added as a support event at eight Grands Prix in 2021.
The precise locations and dates of the rounds will be announced in due course but the deal will significantly boost the series’ exposure on the international scene.
“It is a really important moment for us to welcome W Series as partners for eight races next season,” said Ross Brawn, F1’s director of motorsports.
“They have been a beacon to many since they began racing in 2019.
“We believe it is incredibly important to give everyone the chance to reach the highest levels of our sport and their partnership with Formula 1 next season shows our determination and commitment to showcase their exciting series and the importance of building greater diversity across the sport.”
W Series was forced to scrap its 2020 program due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the championship will return in its identical form next season, although drivers will be eligible for Superlicence points.
Catherine Bond Muir, W Series Chief Executive Officer, said:
“Formula 1 is by some margin the world’s premier motor racing series, and, when we promised that W Series would be bigger and better in the future, partnering with Formula 1 was always our ultimate objective
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“There is no doubt that, now that W Series will be run alongside and in collaboration with Formula 1, our global reach, impact and influence will be increased significantly.
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“Everything that made W Series so popular and successful in 2019 will remain.
“The cars will be identical, the racing will be close and competitive, and our mission will always be to further the interests and prospects of female racing drivers.
“We want W Series to entertain, and entertain it will,” added Bond Muir. “But we also want it to become a crucial default-option stepping stone for any female racing driver who wants to carve out a professional racing career, and our proximity to Formula 1 will help and enhance that process.
“The fact that W Series is now eligible for FIA Super Licence points will also be an important factor in that regard.
“We are very grateful to Chase Carey, Ross Brawn and their colleagues for having faith in W Series, and for prioritising diversity and inclusion in this way, and we intend to help them drive forwards their excellent #WeRaceAsOne programme this year and in years to come.”
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