The W Series is adding races in the United States and Mexico to its 2020 calendar, organisers of the all-female championship have announced.
The races at the Circuit of the Americas and the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez will form part of the weekend support package for the respective two Formula 1 Grand Prix events being held at the venues at the end of October.
It will be the first time that the W Series has ventured outside Europe, where this season it is set to run as alongside the DTM championship. Williams F1 development driver Jamie Chadwick is returning to defend her title.
The news was welcomed by F1's managing director for motorsport, Ross Brawn, who said: “We are delighted to welcome W Series to two such spectacular events of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship such as those in Austin and Mexico City.
“The ability for the great crowds who traditionally attend the Austin and Mexico City Grands Prix to see these talented female drivers up close will definitely further raise the awareness of the importance of inclusion and diversity in motorsport.
“In just one year, W Series has contributed significantly to increasing interest in the topic of diversity and inclusion in motorsport," he continued. “We are convinced that our sport must offer equal opportunities for men and women to compete together
"It is no coincidence that improving the diversity of the F1 grid by supporting and promoting driver talent from under-represented backgrounds is one of our strategic objectives."
The addition of the two new races on October 24 and October 31 will give the W Series a high profile 'double header' over consecutive weekends as a climax to its second season of competition.
“We at W Series are absolutely delighted that, in only our second season, our championship has been welcomed by Formula 1," commented W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir.
"We’re utterly thrilled that the final two races of the 2020 W Series season will therefore take place as part of the Formula 1 platform," she added.
“Our two all-new races will follow six races on the DTM platform, making a very varied, extremely exciting and truly international eight-race championship, in eight countries across the globe.
"I’m particularly pleased that W Series will now stage races outside Europe, and the USA and Mexico are of course both very important new territories for us.
“Interest in and enthusiasm for W Series was enormous in our first season, 2019, among media and fans alike, and the addition of two all-new W Series races on the Formula 1 platform will inevitably increase that enthusiasm and interest.
"The fact that W Series will be even bigger and even better in 2020 than it was in 2019 will make the return on investment for our future sponsor-partners better and bigger, too.
“A lot of work has gone into stitching the W Series / Formula 1 deal together, but above all I want to thank W Series’drivers, the brave and talented young women who captured the imagination of the sporting world last summer."
The full eight-race calendar for this year consists of:
- May 30 - St Petersburg, Russiah
- June 13 - Anderstorp, Sweden
- June 27 - Monza, Italy
- July 11 - Norisring, Germany
- August 23 - Brands Hatch, UK
- September 5 - Assen, Netherlands
- October 24 - Austin, USA
- October 31 - Mexico City, Mexico