Brits in the Spotlight: W Series
In the run up to this weekend’s Formula 1 Lenovo British Grand Prix at Silverstone, we’re shining a light on some of Britain’s brightest stars set to battle it out on a packed support race schedule at the ‘Home of British Motorsport’.
Friday at the Lenovo British Grand Prix is a dedicated Women in Motorsport Day, celebrating and promoting the role women play in the sport. Join the discussion and share your experience on social media by using #womeninmotorsport.
Today we showcase the best female drivers by profiling the Brits in the W Series, the groundbreaking, all-female single seater series. The W Series was formed in 2018 to provide equal opportunities for women and eliminate the financial barriers that have historically prevented them from reaching the upper echelons of the sport.
Utilising the Tatuus F3 T-318, a car homologated to the latest FIA F3 specification, the championship runs all its cars centrally for its 18 rising stars, ensuring a level playing field that puts driver talent front and centre in the pursuit of success.
Six drivers – over a quarter of the grid – hail from the United Kingdom, including two-time and reigning champion Jamie Chadwick, who arrives at Silverstone with a 37-point advantage. The Team UK athlete has been the class of the field so far in 2022, winning all three races to-date, including the double header in Miami and last time out in Barcelona.
Her closest rivals are two friends, housemates and a mentor and pupil. Abbi Pulling has been something of a revelation since joining the series from British F4 part-way through 2021. Initially a reserve driver, Pulling was given a chance to shine at Silverstone twelve months ago, taking eighth on debut.
She impressed further at Zandvoort and Circuit of the Americas, where she claimed a maiden pole position and podium, and did enough in just four outings to secure a top-eight place in the standings, and a guaranteed full-season programme for 2022.
Pulling’s mentor Alice Powell is third, a further five points back. Her season started in the barriers after an off in the Miami opener, but since then the fan favourite has responded in style and arrives at Silverstone looking not just for a repeat of her 2021 victory, but a third consecutive podium.
One of the UK’s household names over the past year, Powell’s extensive CV also includes stints in the Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy and sportscars, as well as single seaters.
Aston Martin Formula 1 ambassador Jessica Hawkins enjoyed her first visit to the W Series podium in Miami and will be keen for a repeat showing. It has already been something of a trailblazer year for the 27-year-old, an infamous ‘bobble hat’ wearer, after she became the first contemporary touring car race winner in TCR UK earlier in 2022.
Sarah Moore and Abbie Eaton complete the British contingent. Both have endured a character-building start to the campaign, but Moore’s consistency and Eaton’s promise will fuel both for a season-best result in front of an adoring home crowd in Northamptonshire.
Practice and qualifying are both 30 minutes in duration and take place on Friday, the latter setting the grid for the race on Saturday. Points are awarded on a scale of 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 to the top ten finishers. There are no bonus points for pole or fastest lap.