New all-female W Series draws praise... and criticism


News of the launch in 2019 of W Series - an all-female single-seater championship - was bound to generate a bit of controversy within the motorsport community.

W Series will emerge next season with the aim of promoting female talent in a six-race series that shall hopefully put the winner on the road to Formula 1.

Many young female racers have praised the initiative, with British F3 winner Jamie Chadwick believing the scheme will open up opportunities for young women who aspire to move up the motorsport ladder.

"W Series is giving female drivers another platform to go racing," said Chadwick.

"I'm a racing driver and, if I could, I would race 365 days of the year. I will still race against men in other championships but W Series is the perfect supplement to help me develop and progress further through the junior motorsport ranks. I'm excited about what's to come."

Stephane Kox, the daughter of former Dutch GT racer Peter, sees W Series as a useful step in a young female driver's career.

"W Series sounds like it's going to be a really positive addition to the global motorsport scene, and it'll clearly be a big help to ambitious female racing drivers everywhere.

"Speaking for myself, I want to be a racing driver at the highest level possible and to be able to race against the best drivers, men and women.

"In order to be able to do so, it's important that first we gain the kind of experience that W Series will provide."

However, IndyCar racer Pippa Mann, who has struggled to keep her career afloat in the US, admits to be disappointed by a series that singles out women for the wrong reasons.

"What a sad day for motorsport," wrote Mann on Twitter. "Those with funding to help female racers are choosing to segregate them as opposed to supporting them. I am deeply disappointed to see such a historic step backwards take place in my life time."

German Euro F3 racer Sophia Flörsch echoed Pippa Mann's view on Twitter and offered a somewhat surprising comparison.

"I agree with the arguments - but totally disagree with the solution. Women need long term support and trustful partners. I want to compete with the best of our sport.

"Please compare it with economics: Do we need separate Women Management / Advisory Boards? No. Wrong way."

The raging debate on social media likely won't dissipate anytime soon. Ultimately however, the W Series will come to fruition next spring. In the interim, it's guaranteed a healthy dose of promotion, one way or the other.

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