Is W Series what female drivers need?

It has been announced that their will be a new feeder series specifically designed for female drivers to give them a better chance of progressing in motorsport.

The series will consist of 18-20 drivers all in equal machinery and will be staged solely in Europe (for the time being) and drivers will be selected via a vigorous selection process which will be evaluated by use of on track testing, simulator work, fitness trials and engineering tests. All of this is thought to find the best female talent out there but the series is also designed to help prepare them for future categories by developing in all of these areas.

The cars themselves will be turbo-charged Formula 3 cars fitted with the halo which will provide a true test for any young driver. There will also be a prize of $500,000 US dollars to the winner of the series in a bid to help them secure a driver in a higher tier category.

David Coulthard, Adrian Newey, Dave Ryan and Matt Bishop will lend their expertise to the series and it’s drivers, all of which have plenty of experience in the sport and from some very different aspects which will be nothing but positive for any young driver who wishes to learn from them.

Here’s what they had to say:

“In order to be a successful racing driver, you have to be skilled, determined, competitive, brave and physically fit, but you don’t have to possess the kind of super-powerful strength levels that some sports require. You also don’t have to be a man. 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” – David Coulthard

“The reason why so few women have so far raced successfully at the highest levels against men may, however, be a lack of opportunity rather than a lack of capability.” – Adrian Newey

“W Series will give more women racing drivers crucial experience in relevant cars on relevant circuits, so that they may learn not only how to be quick but also how to win, to help them progress their careers beyond the levels that have traditionally been attainable by them.” – Dave Ryan

There have also been some mixed views:

What I think:

The best way to prove anyones talent is to put them against the best talent around and segregating them isn’t the best way to do this, when someone wins the title what value would it have? The issue is that you don’t know how they will compare against other drivers until they reach the mainstream series.

Sponsors and teams in mainstream categories need to get behind women that show the potential but sponsorship seems to stick with the boys, this is why W Series was created. What this at least achieves is that it gives female drivers an opportunity and doing something to help this is better than nothing.

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