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.



the problem with having an gender-desegregated series is that men have a physical advantage over women, just like in any other sport. you wanna know why women struggle to compete in the regular F1 series? cuz men are simply better at it and feminists won’t accept it. don’t get me wrong, i’m all for a woman who can whoop a man’s ass in the regular series, but if you wanna shine the spotlight on the women, segregating it is the best (it’s worked well for most types of sport).

10/10/2018 - 16:58 |
4 | 1
Tomislav Celić

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)


Segregation means both females have same chances of becoming #1 as males in their category, which means more funding and sponsors will go towards them.

Also yes, woman do have lots of disadvantages to men. Reaction time, consistency, lower upper body strength (g forces yo)…

10/10/2018 - 17:03 |
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In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Motorsport isn’t really “most types of sport” though. And if you were to follow the same model, you would have to make every category have a mens and womens version.

10/10/2018 - 17:57 |
2 | 0

If I was female, I would feel rather patronised. There is no reason why a woman can’t compete against a man (OK F1 has some serious G-forces, but other series exist). While more race series can never be a bad thing, I worry that this could be leading to something worse. What if the equality-of-outcome movement demands that every team hires one male and one female driver? On discussions on this topic on other sites, I have genuinely seen this suggested. Reminds me of primary-school class-rep elections.

10/10/2018 - 17:34 |
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It’s already being forced upon businesses, it’s only a matter of time before its forced up racing. Businesses are being forced to hire more women for managerial roles because there are more men than women in these roles. So even if there is a more qualified and talented male they will have to have a less qualified female because they will appear sexist if they don’t. It’s happening with a lot of things, colleges too.

10/10/2018 - 17:55 |
3 | 0

I was kind of torn but this does seem like a good platform for women to get up to F1. Because it’s purely talent based, the best drivers should be apparent quickly, hopefully leading to bigger series teams noticing.

10/10/2018 - 17:39 |
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In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

well, if they are only competing against a minority, the talent pool is smaller so the probability if finding a good driver is low, so being the best woman does not mean much

10/10/2018 - 18:29 |
5 | 1

“Why waste money on a segregation? Invest in the already successful female racers that NEED the money,”

I’m sorry but is this not an investment? Giving them an opportunity to compete and practice before trying to get into F1 and the likes?
Or shall we just throw money at women and hope it will turn them into Sennas and Laudas?

W series is a great, great idea.

10/10/2018 - 17:47 |
2 | 1

Agree 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

10/10/2018 - 19:42 |
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Joel Lundin

We dont need more segregation!

10/10/2018 - 17:57 |
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this aint it, finding the best female racer is pointless for their cause, finding a female racer that can compete with the guys is. Halie Deegan just won a K&N race against guys, that proves she has talent unlike only racing against a minority of drivers

10/10/2018 - 18:23 |
4 | 0

What i’ve noticed in formula student nowadays is that there are more girls than ever. That is the goal, to create something that doesn’t care for your gender and appeals to everyone. creating a one gender only series is working against that and creating unneccessary tension.

10/10/2018 - 18:26 |
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This would only make sense if the FIA recognizes it officially, so that these women can collect points for their superlicense (or any other FIA license). But because this series doesn’t allow men, you can not estimate the drivers skill relative to a male driver in another series (like Formula 2).
This concept would probably get women motivated to start racing but the series itself wouldn’t contribute to their career in any way and would probably steer alot of talented female drivers into a dead end.

10/10/2018 - 18:42 |
2 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

exactly, since the women are in the minority, it is less likely to find good ones, meaning the winner might not be so good

10/10/2018 - 21:43 |
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Griffin Mackenzie

Pretty silly honestly. If they wanna race with men just let em. Who cares

10/10/2018 - 19:19 |
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They still can race with whomever they want… This is another option to encourage and help women to enter the racing world…

10/10/2018 - 19:44 |
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slevo beavo

Im pretty sure if there was a male only race series then there would be a uproar. I know most race series only have male drivers however if a woman is fast enough for say F1 then they would be in F1 (Suzi Wolff came pretty damn close)

I think in a way they’ve swung the other way and are now discriminating against men. Why not use the money for this series and support and train women already racing in a male dominated sport

10/10/2018 - 19:29 |
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