This season, the W Series will be contested as Formula 1 support races for the first time – and will be shown live on free-to-air TV on Channel 4 in the UK.
Channel 4 is continuing its coverage after the inaugural W Series season in 2019, when Williams development driver Jamie Chadwick won the series’ first championship.
The all-female series will be raced over an increased eight-race calendar in support of Formula 1 weekends – the first of which is due to take place at the Styrian Grand Prix over the weekend of 25-27 June, as well as the Austrian Grand Prix at the same location a week later.
The schedule also includes races provisionally scheduled, Covid-19 situation permitting, at Silverstone, Hungaroring, Spa, Zandvoort, Austin and Mexico City.
Alongside the announcement of broadcast arrangements came the confirmation of its presenting team, with Lee McKenzie and Sky’s Anna Woolhouse on presenting duties, Ted Kravitz and MotoGP presenter Amy Reynolds reporting live from the pit lane, alongside Naomi Schiff, who competed in W Series in 2019, brought in as an analyst.
Channel 4’s F1 commentary team of Alex Jacques, David Coulthard and Billy Monger will be behind the microphones as they call the action on track.
W Series to be shown live and free-to-air on @Channel4 with an all-star diverse commentary team.
— W Series (@WSeriesRacing) May 26, 2021
W Series CEO, Catherine Bond Muir, said in a statement: “I am delighted W Series’ founding broadcast partner, Channel 4, has reinforced its commitment to showcasing women’s sport and our talented racing drivers.
“Live free-to-air motorsport coverage is rare, but our partnership with Channel 4 is a key part of W Series’ plan to create more visible role models to inspire girls and women to be a part of motorsport, whether that is on track, on screen or behind the scenes, and the expertise and insight provided by our brilliant commentary team will be instrumental to our efforts.”
Coulthard, who also serves as W Series Advisory Board Chairman, added: “The interest in W Series’ inaugural season was remarkable and it will only increase this year when W Series races in partnership with Formula 1.
“With the world watching, the pressure on the drivers will increase this season and I’m looking forward to being part of the commentary team which brings to life their inspirational stories and skills.”
Louisa Compton, Head of News, Current and Affairs and Sport, Channel 4, said: “W Series aligns brilliantly with Channel 4 – it’s exciting, bold and breaking down barriers. I’m sure viewers will relish the opportunity to watch this exciting season of top motorsport as it unfolds on Channel 4.”