RACE DEBRIEF

    W Series, the international single-seater motor racing championship for female drivers, will be on the support bill for eight Grands Prix in 2021 as part of a new partnership with Formula 1.

    The precise locations and dates of the rounds will be announced in due course, but the series’ Chief Executive Officer, Catherine Bond Muir, says the move fulfils their promise of being “bigger and better in the future” after their 2020 season was called off amid the global pandemic.

    "After such a successful inaugural season [in 2019], we at W Series are absolutely delighted to be partnering with Formula 1 for 2021 and beyond,” she said.

    "Formula 1 is by some margin the world’s premier motor racing series, and, when we promised that W Series would be bigger and better in the future, partnering with Formula 1 was always our ultimate objective. There is no doubt that, now that W Series will be run alongside and in collaboration with Formula 1, our global reach, impact and influence will be increased significantly.

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    "Everything that made W Series so popular and successful in 2019 will remain. The cars will be identical, the racing will be close and competitive, and our mission will always be to further the interests and prospects of female racing drivers. We want W Series to entertain, and entertain it will.

    "But we also want it to become a crucial default-option stepping stone for any female racing driver who wants to carve out a professional racing career, and our proximity to Formula 1 will help and enhance that process. The fact that W Series is now eligible for FIA Super Licence points will also be an important factor in that regard.

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    "We are very grateful to Chase Carey, Ross Brawn and their colleagues for having faith in W Series, and for prioritising diversity and inclusion in this way, and we intend to help them drive forwards their excellent #WeRaceAsOne programme this year and in years to come."

    The W Series news follows the announcement of Formula 1’s provisional 2021 calendar, as well as the F2 and F3 schedules.

    "We are excited to announce our 2021 season this week and look forward to a thrilling season with an exciting mix of new races and established circuits that we missed during our unprecedented 2020 season,” said Ross Brawn, Managing Director of Motorsport at Formula 1.

    "It is a really important moment for us to welcome W Series as partners for eight races this season. They have been a beacon to many since they began racing in 2019. We believe it is incredibly important to give everyone the chance to reach the highest levels of our sport and their partnership with Formula 1 next season shows our determination and commitment to showcase their exciting series and the importance of building greater diversity across the sport."