The next steps have been taken in the search for the next female Formula One driver, as the ‘long list’ of entries for the inaugural W Series season has been announced.
The open-wheel category, a series introduced only for female racing drivers, was announced a few weeks ago, with opinions on the new championship divided.
A series claiming to not need sponsorship, the abilities of all interested drivers will je assessed in order to find the best candidates for the championship.
The first step in this process has resulted in a ‘long list’ of over fifty entries, which will be whittled down to form the grid of the new championship.
Notably, the list includes FIA Women in Motorsport Advisor Carmen Jorda, who rose to prominence by becoming a development driver for Lotus back in 2015.
The inclusion of Jorda is no surprise, having previously been vocal about favouring a women-only racing series.
Other notable candidates include former British GT champion and British Formula 3 race-winner Jamie Chadwick and multiple Formula 3 winner Alice Powell. Sabre Cook is an Infiniti Engineering Academy winner and Betke Visser was highly rated as a kart racer.
Higher-profile women racers such as IndyCar driver Pippa Mann, Sauber F1 test and development driver Tatiana Calderon and European Formula 3 driver Sophia Floersch – who have arguably already surpassed the level that the W Series is aimed at – have stated their opposition to the women-only championship.
David Coulthard, W Series Advisory Board Chair said:
“We designed W Series specifically to shine a light on female talent right around the world.
“I can’t wait to be part of the next stage and to see some of that talent in action.”
A series of tests will be conducted in the W Series race car – a 2019 Tatuus T-318 – ahead of the season’s first race at Hockenheim in Germany in May.
Full entry list:
By: Luke Murphy
All images: Motorsport Images