W Series paves the way for female F1 drivers

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A female-only motorsport championship dubbed the W Series will kick off in May next year, aimed at narrowing the gender gap in the male-dominated world of motorsport.

The last woman to compete for championship points in Formula 1 was Lella Lombardi. She raced in 1976, and was just the second female driver in the sport’s history,

Six half-hour races will take place throughout Europe when the W Series gets rolling, with events in Australia, America and Asia on the cards down the road.

A grid of 20 drivers will race a fleet of 2018 Tatuus Formula 3 cars, powered by a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine. They’ll run slick tyres and a halo device, the latter of which is featured on current Formula 1 cars.

The prize pool will be AUD$2.1 million, with the top driver taking home $706,000 – money will be distributed all the way to 18th position, though.

The W Series is free to enter, but the pre-selection process is gruelling, involving technical engineering, simulator sessions, fitness examinations, and on-track testing.

The selection judges are David Coulthard, Adrian Newey, and former McLaren Formula 1 sporting director, Dave Ryan.

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