Remember the all-female W Series launched last year? Well, the series recently wrapped up its first-ever season last weekend with Jamie Chadwick being crowned its first-ever champion. Aside from being the inaugural champion, the 21-year old British driver also went home with a $500,000 (Php 26.2 million) prize.
Chadwick did not have it easy during the inaugural season of the W Series. Unlike Formula 1, the W Series only had six races this season, and she only managed to win 2 out of 6 races. Dutch racer Beistke Visser was also a championship contender all season long and was only 13 points behind Chadwick heading into the final race.
During the series finale at Brands Hatch, Chadwick managed to start in pole position but slipped down to fourth place as she crossed the checkered flag. However, even if she didn’t finish on the podium in the last race, it was enough for her to clinch the inaugural championship title by 10 points ahead of Visser.
For those of you wonder, this isn’t Chadwick’s first rodeo in motorsports. The British driver has had success in both cars and open-wheel racing. In fact, she was even signed into the Williams’ Racing Driver Academy because of her talents.
Despite winning the inaugural W Series, Chadwick is still far from her dreams of becoming the first woman in Formula 1 in more than four decades. While the $500,000 could help her secure a seat in Formula 3, it’s still a long way to go before she ever reaches Formula 1 as more financial backing will be needed.
“If you look at all the drivers who’ve made it into F1, they’ve all come with significant backing. Whether that’s personal or through sponsors or a team, none of them have paid their way scraping the barrel,” she told Reuters.
Organizers expect Chadwick to return to the W Series next year when points become available towards a Formula 1 super license. However, she is also setting her sights on greater things as well.
“I want to do as much as I can... my overall aspirations are much greater than just this, than the W Series. I want to go on and achieve a lot in the sport. Next year will be preparing myself in the best way to do that,” she adds.
Hopefully, we will get to see Chadwick as racing against the men of Formula 1.