Formula 1 won’t change W Series atmosphere

Jamie Woodhouse
W Series females in motor sport

Female participation in motor sport will "explode" in the next 10 years.

2019 W Series runner-up Beitske Visser doesn’t think the “atmosphere” will change once the category joins Formula 1’s support bill.

The opening six-race season of the W Series in 2019 was won by Jamie Chadwick, while Visser picked up a win and three further podiums to take P2 in the standings, 10 points adrift of Chadwick who went on to join Williams as a development driver.

And for 2021 the W Series returns with an eight-race calendar, though this time it will switch from the DTM to the Formula 1 support race schedule.

Instantly that will put a far greater spotlight on the competition, but Visser doesn’t expect the “atmosphere” to change as a result, especially since all drivers are using identical Formula 3 machinery.

“I think the fact that it changes from DTM to F1 won’t really change anything,” Visser told Autosport.

“I don’t know if the atmosphere will change, I don’t think so.

“The difference is we’re all in one team, we all drive with the same set-up on the car and we all see each other’s data, so you have no excuses to say ‘she is in a better team, so that’s why she’s faster’.

“So I think that changes also a little bit the atmosphere [anyway].

“In the end, I think we can separate very well the on and off-track and that’s the most important part.”

W Series
W Series to host eight races as part of F1 support schedule for 2021 and beyond.

With the W Series cancelled for 2020, Chadwick went on to race in the F3 Asian Championship and Formula Regional European Championship.

Visser meanwhile joined the European Le Mans Series, finishing P9 in the 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 class as part of the Richard Mille Racing Team.

And the Dutch racer definitely feels she will return to the W Series stronger as a result of that experience.

“I’m super-grateful for the chance I got this year with Richard Mille and it has definitely made me a much better driver over the year,” she said.

“I hope I can transform that into W Series next year and hopefully go one step better than I did last year.

“Some of the girls didn’t get to drive that much this year, but others did, so I think over the winter anyway everyone will prepare as much as possible for it.”

The 2021 W Series season begins at Paul Ricard on June 26 as part of the Formula 1 French Grand Prix race weekend.

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