W Series’ First Success? Jamie Chadwick Gets Williams F1 Development Driver Role
The all-female W Series appears to have had its first tangible success in its aim to boost the career of women racing drivers, as just two races into its existence its championship leader Jamie Chadwick has bagged a development driver role with the Williams Formula 1 team. Williams has confirmed that Chadwick will in the role attend three F1 races in Europe this year with the team, starting with the British Grand Prix in July. In addition, Chadwick “will be fully immersed into the team both trackside and in the factory at Grove”, will have “a busy simulator program”, and will “support the team in a number of media and marketing activities”.
The news comes just a fortnight after the W Series’ first-ever round, at Hockenheim in Germany, where Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams was in attendance to see Chadwick win the race as well as take a dominant pole position in a sodden qualifying session, topping the times by some 1.7 seconds. Chadwick also won the MRF Winter Series in India in 2018-19, the 2015 British GT4 title, as well as won a race in British Formula 3 last year. She has taken a win and second place in the two W Series rounds so far, as well as bagged both pole positions. The news of the Williams role also was announced on Chadwick’s 21st birthday! Chadwick joins the team’s reserve driver Nicholas Latifi in the Williams drivers’ academy, who currently leads the Formula 2 standings with three wins in the opening six races this year.
“It is a great honor to be joining the Williams Racing driver academy,” Chadwick said. “The time in the simulator is a fantastic opportunity to aid with my development. I look forward to spending time in the factory at Grove, immersing myself within the team and assisting wherever I can. Being a part of the driver academy is an amazing platform and I’m excited to get started.”
Claire Williams added: “Promoting women in motorsport is extremely important and having a female role model as part of our driver academy will hopefully inspire young girls to take up racing at a young age. We hope to show that motorsport is inclusive and exciting, be that as a driver or on the engineering side. Jamie is a great talent and I look forward to working with her.”
W Series communications director Matt Bishop said on Twitter: “It’s always been part of W Series’ strategy that our successful drivers would be able to leverage their successes with us to further their careers in a way they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. It’s happening. Well done Jamie Chadwick. Well done Williams.”