The all-women W Series Championship is making a grand return next year and has partnered with Formula 1 for the 2021 season. The W Series will be a part of eight Formula 1 rounds next season and is a part of the efforts to bring more diversity to motorsports at large. The eight rounds will take place as support races for F1. The locations and dates of these rounds will be announced at a later stage. The 2021 Formula 1 calendar includes a record 23 races.
Speaking on the partnership, Catherine Bond Muir, CEO - W Series said, "After such a successful inaugural season , we at W Series are absolutely delighted to be partnering with Formula 1 for 2021 and beyond. 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."
Muir further added, "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."
Ross Brawn, MD of Motorsport, Formula 1, said, "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. 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."
The inagural season of the W Series was conducted in 2019 with Jamie Chadwick winning the title. The 2020 season, however, was cancelled in June this year after being delayed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was previously rumoured that W Series could be a part of two rounds of F1 next season, but it's welcoming to see eight rounds will feature an all-female grid. The tie-up should give W Series the much-needed boost for the championship and its drivers on a global scale. More so, for women and budding racers who want to make a career in motorsport.