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THE END OF THE W SERIES AND THE RISE OF F1 ACADEMY


Photo by: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

written by: Sofia Miranda

edited by: Breanna Ebisch


Motorsports is a sport that historically has been considered male-dominated. We have seen an improvement in that matter from its beginning, but does it continue? How can women start their way into this sport without a path already being settled? What is currently going on for women in this sport?


The W Series and its downfall

The W series was a competition that consisted of only women that went on through 2019, and 2021 and ended abruptly in 2022. The CEO of the W series was Catherine Bond Muir and it had been previously stated that this competition would be an opportunity to offer women racing drivers a platform to race globally. Still, even though it broke diverse barriers for women to get into the sport, the W series history is a perfect example of the difference in treatment of, not only the Society, but investors towards women in male-dominated sports.


2022 was the third time that the competition would take place. seven circuits, three continents, nine teams and 18 drivers, those were the expectations for that season. However, three races before what would have been the final race the season was canceled because the organization was left with no funds. They were expecting to receive an amount of funds from an investor in the middle of September but turnout did not happen.


This event crowned Jamie Chadwick, the winner of both previous seasons, as the champion of the 2022 season of the series. Chadwick has stated that she wasn't hoping to be sat at home then finding out that she'd won a championship rather than maybe winning it on track.


The rising of F1 Academy

From 2023, and hopefully forward, a new path has been traced. The W series was replaced by the now named F1 Academy with the same objective as the previous series but also crafting a way for these drivers to get into F3 and possibly Formula 1 in the future. Suzie Wolff, a professional race driver and founder of the initiative "Dare to be Different", was nominated the managing director of the organization. Seven circuits, 21 races, 15 drivers and five teams, this is what to expect to see from this competition that has already began has set the next grand prix set to take place in Zandvoort on June 22 to the 24


Learning more about the competition…

The race weeks consist of two free practices (40 minutes each), two qualifyings (15 minutes each) and three races. The first race consists of 30 minutes, the second race consists of 20 minutes and the third one consists of 30 minutes (all ending with an addition of one more lap). One of the most interesting and different things in this series is that the first eight drivers who finish in the first quali, will start the second race in reverse order, as in the first ones will start in the last position on the formation grid. This season's teams, their respective drivers and numbers are:


- Prema Racing: Chloe Chong (14); Marta García (15); Bianca Bustamante (16).


- Rodin Carlin: Abbi Pulling (10); Jessica Edgar (11); Megan Gilkes (12).


- Art Grand Prix: Léna Buler (7); Carrie Schreiner (8); Chloe Grant (9).


- MP Motorsport: Hamda Al Qubaisi (4); Emely De Heus (5); Amna Al Qubaisi (6).


- Campos Racing: Nerea Martí (1); Lola Lovinfosse (2); Maite Cáceres (3).

taken from F1 Academy’s website


To learn even more, you can access the competition's official website where you'll be able to gather even more knowledge and learn how to watch the race weeks in your location.

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