New all-female W Series to launch in 2019

F1 for women: New female-only motorsport series launched to find future Formula 1 stars

Following its inaugural season, W Series plans to take the motorsport to areas outside of Europe, including Asia and North America. That's why we at W Series firmly believe that female and male racing drivers can compete with one another on equal terms given the same opportunity.

Jamie Chadwick, who is now eighth in British F3 and became the first woman to win a race in the series in August, also believes W Series will create opportunities for female racing drivers.

"Women in motorsport are something of a rarity today, but with W Series as a catalyst we hope to transform the diversity of the sport - and perhaps even encourage more girls into professions they had not previously considered".

The new series hopes to attract up to 20 of the world's leading female racing drivers to compete for a $1.5m (£1.14m) prize fund.

The W Series was created by sports lawyer Catherine Bond Muir, who's spent the last three years putting it together, assembling a pretty stellar team that includes former F1 driver David Coulthard; F1 design engineer Adrian Newey; F1 and GT team manager Dave Ryan; and F1 Journalist Matt Bishop.

This was reinforced by Coulthard.

Coulthard explained his involvement in the series by saying "In order to be a successful racing driver, you have to be skilled, determined, competitive, fearless and physically fit, but you don't have to possess the kind of super-powerful strength levels that some sports require". He went on to say most female racers hit the "glass ceiling" around the GP3 / Formula 3 level often as a result of a lack of funding rather than a lack of talent.

However, 13-time grand prix victor Coulthard says strength is not a barrier to women making it to the upper echelons of motorsport, and hopes that the series can provide the funding that is often lacking when females try to rise through the ranks.

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An all-female motor racing championship will be launched next year with the aim of helping women to get into Formula One.

While critics will balk at the idea of segregated motorsport series, organizers claim the time has come for an all-female motorsport series.

"What a sad day for motorsport", wrote Mann on Twitter. Those with funding to help female racers are choosing to segregate them as opposed to supporting them. I stand by everything I said.

Females hoping to compete in W Series will not have to bring any sponsorship but they will have prove their ability in an intensive selection process to ensure that the grid is full of the best talent possible. Sadly the #HandmaidsRacingSeries now lives. For the record, I stand WITH those who feel forced into this as their only opportunity to race.

Mann's sentiments were echoed by TV presenter Katie Hargitt.

The victor of the category will earn $500,000 to help fund her next step up the racing ladder to F1. "Want to be the best?"

On Wednesday it was announced a new Formula 3 level championship would be created with the sole objective of hosting female talent on the grid in order to increase the level of women in motorsport at the top level.

Lombardi started 12 races between 1974 and 1976.

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