W Series to kick off 2021 season with Austrian double-header
W Series’ field of competitors will roll out for the first time this season at the Red Bull Ring on June 26 following F1’s decision to amend its 2021 calendar after the cancellation of the Turkish GP.
The all-female series, whose 2020 program was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic, was initially scheduled to kick off its second season at the French GP at Paul Ricard on June 16, but F1’s most recent calendar permutations have led to the race in France being moved forward by a week, while the Styrian and Austrian GPs will take place on June 27 and July 4.
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Consequently, W Series will still raise its curtain on June 26, but at the Red Bull Ring where it will be on F1’s double-header bill.
The series’ 2021 campaign will subsequently unfold alongside F1 at Silverstone, the Hungaroring, Spa, Zandvoort, COTA and in Mexico City.
As was the case in W Series’ inaugural season, all drivers will compete in Tatuus T-318 Formula 3 race cars, but with updated safety and reliability refinements.
“I am overjoyed that the waiting is finally over and our drivers are back on track for W Series’ second season,” commented series boss Catherine Bond Muir.
“If you had told me when Alice Powell won our last race at Brands Hatch that I would have to wait 646 days to see our cars on track again, I wouldn’t have believed you because our first season was such a resounding success.
“The postponement of our second season actually gave us time to accelerate our plans, and we return bigger and better in 2021 and ready for a new era of racing.
“Today we are just 40 days away from the first race of our landmark new partnership with Formula 1, which demonstrates not only the power of our mission but the excitement of our racing too.”
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Williams development driver Jamie Chadwick will defend her W Series’ 2019 inaugural title, and will be in action this week along with her fellow competitors for a five-day pre-season test that will take place in Anglesey.
“This week’s pre-season test is essential preparation for the challenges that our drivers will face this season, and a reminder of how tough the season is going to be,” added Bond Muir.
“I know that every one of them is relishing the prospect of getting behind the wheel of our cars and bringing the W Series mission back to life again.”
The revised 2021 W Series race calendar, in partnership with Formula 1:
26 June: Spielberg, Austria (in support of the Styrian Grand Prix)
3 July: Spielberg, Austria (in support of the Austrian Grand Prix)
17 July: Silverstone, UK
31 July: Budapest, Hungary
28 August: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
4 September: Zandvoort, Netherlands
23 October: Austin, USA
30 October: Mexico City, Mexico