The New Women-Only Single-Seater Race Series Is Dividing Opinion

W Series will be a free-to-enter championship aimed at encouraging more women to pursue motorsport, but not everyone in the racing world is convinced

The motorsport world’s newest single-seater racing series has just been announced. It’s called W Series, and there’s a crucial difference between it and other junior Formulas: the championship is exclusively for female entrants.

The series will be taking to tracks around Europe for the debut 2019 season, expanding to circuits elsewhere in the world in the years that follow. It’s also free to enter, so long as the entrant can pass a “Rigorous pre-selection programme/examination involving on-track testing, simulator appraisal, technical engineering tests, fitness trials,” the series organisers say.

W Series will use a grid of identical Formula 3-spec single-seater racing cars
W Series will use a grid of identical Formula 3-spec single-seater racing…

So, getting a seat in one of the F3-spec cars will be based on driving talent and driving talent alone, without the ability to snare sponsorship being a factor. There’s also a $1.5 million prize pot for competitors, with the champion claiming a third of that.

However, the idea has dramatically split opinion in the racing world on the day of the announcement, with many from the sport - women racing drivers included - voicing support and concerns for the series.

The argument from many is that money and resources would be better spent on supporting female drivers struggling for funding in existing series. “Why waste money on a segregation? Invest in the already successful female racers that NEED the money,” multiple British GT winner and driver for The Grand Tour Abbie Eaton Tweeted, while IndyCar driver Pippa Mann - who’s written extensively about the subject of a women-only series before - said: “Help talented racers keep racing at appropriate levels for their experience, in real championships, where they can get real results.”

W Series claims that a large part of its mission is to get more women interested in entering the male-dominated sport in the first place. “At the heart of W Series’ DNA is the firm belief that women can compete equally with men in motorsport. However, an all-female series is essential in order to force greater female participation,” it says.

At this stage, it’s hard to predict how the concept will pan out. We’ll certainly be watching with interest.



That’s awesome,imagine your mom im it

10/10/2018 - 15:56 |
1 | 1

Women driver stereotype jokes incoming…..

10/10/2018 - 16:07 |
3 | 1
Too Marmite

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Pretty sure open wheel cars don’t have a reverse gear so we might have dodged one bullet

10/10/2018 - 16:13 |
6 | 0

I agree with Tiff’s advocation for Jade Edwards into the BTCC. She needs some good luck!

10/10/2018 - 16:08 |
0 | 0

If it was a male only series, there’d be an uproar.

Why is gender even important?

10/10/2018 - 16:11 |
126 | 3

In reply to by Elliot.J99

Exactly. This whole bloody sexism thing now looks down upon men and puts women on top. Segregation isn’t required for racing. Talent is talent. If you are a good female driver and can compete with the best, then go ahead. If a male driver is sht, there’s no special series to help his little ss up. If you’re good, you get signed. Simple as. We don’t need silly segregated series.

10/10/2018 - 16:24 |
68 | 5

Because just like in athletics, swimming, football… Females are inferior. On avrage they have less upper body strength (required for high amounts of G forces) and have slower reactions. That’s why we have female only gaming tournaments.

10/10/2018 - 16:37 |
10 | 20

This ^

10/10/2018 - 16:38 |
2 | 4

It’s not about gender. It’s about culture. The motorsport world is a male dominated one at the moment, so this helps break this culture encouraging women to enter the field. A male only series would not make a lot of sense for the same exact reason…

10/10/2018 - 19:49 |
12 | 5

Nearly every motorsport series in male only now…

Sucks how gender can have such a massive impact on how we view Motorsport

10/10/2018 - 23:14 |
4 | 0


10/10/2018 - 16:18 |
1 | 0

This is supposed to make genders equal but I think it does the opposite. They can compete with men, so why do they need a separate series?

10/10/2018 - 16:24 |
8 | 0
Tomislav Celić

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

They can’t. Average woman has a slower reaction time than males. National Geografic pointed out this in brain games, explaining why females don’t have much chance in motorsport.

10/10/2018 - 16:38 |
2 | 17
White Comet

a completely dumb idea. Have to pay more than men to compete. Non-sense

10/10/2018 - 16:25 |
1 | 1

Not convinced. Instead of making a racing series just for women, they should be encouraged to participate in an existing series.

As for the free entry and funding, this should be available regardless of gender. It is easily the biggest barrier for anyone wanting to get involved in motorsport.

10/10/2018 - 16:25 |
33 | 0
Tomislav Celić

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I agree with the funding, but I disagree on your terms.

If I was a guy who teached young kids to race I’d reject any female. Hate me for it but I’m not spending the same amount of money and time to have extremely lower chances of great results.

NatGeo prooved it. Woman have lower reactions times and in event of racing, they focus less and tend to be less consistent. The odds are not in their favour, so if they want to race, they need a seperate series. Just like in athletics, swimming, football…

10/10/2018 - 16:46 |
2 | 12

I wouldn’t call it a step on the ladder when that ladder leads to a dead end. The money should be used to help fund female drivers into already established race series. Women fight for equality but this only serves as segregation. Equality = Inclusiveness.

10/10/2018 - 16:26 |
10 | 0
Dave 12

I think if motorsport really wants to present itself as an equal opportunities sport then getting women interested in the first place, let alone passionate enough to sacrifice personal and financial normality to pursue it properly is definitely a challenge. That said providing a fully funded women only series is not providing equal opportunities in my book. It’s positive discrimination which is still discrimination. Neither do I I agree that the money should be spent finding women who are struggling in feeder series and helping them because it doesn’t sit well with me that talented young men may miss out by virtue of their gender and not their talent, but this is the world we live in. As a solution to the problem that young men are more likley to pursue a career in motorsport I prefer the latter solution but I don’t really see it as being a problem. More and more women are appearing on grids worldwide these days because they are finding the drive and motivation to compete in professional motorsport with men as their peers. We’ve seen a female pole setter in the British GT this year as well as a brother/sister team in TCR and STCC. That’s the sort of thing I can get behind and be happy cheering these women on.

10/10/2018 - 16:30 |
16 | 0

Kinda long so I didn’t read but I have you an upvote cause it looks smart

10/10/2018 - 19:12 |
0 | 0

Well said!

10/13/2018 - 01:05 |
0 | 0

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