With the W Series season opener just weeks away, here’s a look at the 18 drivers and 4 reserves that are travelling the world with F1 this summer. Some of the most experienced female drivers, alongside rookies, are just starting their careers, who couldn’t be excited for the start of the 2021 season.
Ayla Ågren, Norway, 27
New to W Series in 2021, Agren will hope to make a real impact on the series. She has previously raced in F1600 and F2000 in the United States on the Road to Indy programme. Her best result to date is a first-place finish in the 2014 F1600 championship.
Jamie Chadwick, UK, 23
2019 W Series champion Chadwick scored 110 points in the inaugural season. She will hope to retain the title in 2021 while also competing in Extreme E for Veloce Racing. The Williams F1 team development driver is a real talent and one to watch for the future of females in motorsport.
Sabré Cook, USA, 27
Cook is starting her second year in W Series and will be hoping to improve on her 12th place championship finish from 2019. She is another driver who’s hoping to reach IndyCar in the future, although funding issues may stand in her way. Having competed in various American categories, she should be prepared for the challenge of the W Series this year.
Abbie Eaton, UK, 29
Eaton is taking part in her first W Series season in 2021 using her experience from Mazda MX-5 and British GT. She is currently leading the 2021 GT Cup Championship championship and will hope to reach the same fate in W Series. Her best results are 1st in the 2009 Production Tour Car Championship and 2014 Mazda MX-5 Supercup. When not behind the wheel, she is an ambassador for Racing Pride, an LGBT rights charity working in the motorsport industry to promote inclusivity throughout the sport.
Belén García, Spain, 21
2021 will see Belen’s W Series debut, where she will build on her experience from various F4 championships. Having only started karting in 2015, she continues to build on her experiences and grow as a driver. Having taken the female trophy in the Spanish F4 championship in 2019, with an overall finishing position of 15th, this will be her first F3 championship.
Marta García, Spain, 20
Unlike her namesake, Marta has W Series experience, having competed in the 2019 championship, finishing 4th. Having started well with a podium in the first race, her form dipped to a P8 and P9 finish in the last two races. She will hope to improve on that in 2021 to take the title.
Jessica Hawkins, UK, 26
Aston Martin Cognizant F1 team driver ambassador Hawkins is returning for another chance at the W Series title this year. After finishing the last season in 11th, she will use her touring car experience to try and move up the championship order. Her best result to date was 2nd in the 2017 Mini Challenge UK Championship with 727 points.
Emma Kimiläinen, Finland, 31
Another driver returning this year is Kimiläinen, who finished 5th in the 2019 season. The Finish driver has so much experience that she will want to take the title this year. With success in Formula Ford and Scandinavian Touring Car Championships since 2005, she will be one to watch this season.
Miki Koyama, Japan, 23
Koyama is also hoping to improve on her 2019 championship position after finishing 7th. Having competed in Japanese F4 and Asian F3 since 2015 with varied but improving success, she will hope to continue building on this success in the 2021 W Series season.
Nerea Martí, Spain, 19
At 19 years old, Martí has only recently started her professional racing career. She has previously competed in Spanish F4, where she finished 16th in the 2019 championship, although she scored a podium on debut. She will hope to bring that experience to W Series that year and continue to grow her racing career.
Sarah Moore, UK, 27
On the other hand, Moore is a very experienced driver who has been competing in a variety of series since 2007. Having finished 8th in the 2019 W Series Championship, she will want to move up the grid and take the title as she did in the 2018 Britcar Endurance Championship. She is also an ambassador for Racing Pride alongside Sarah Moore.
Vicky Piria, Italy, 27
Piria is hoping to build on her 2019 season as well, having finished 9th in the championship. Having competed since 2009 in a variety of series, she can build on this to continue her W Series career and move towards the front of the grid.
Alice Powell, UK, 27
Another W Series veteran is Alice Powell, hoping to improve on her P3 finish in the 2019 championship. As another driver who has experience throughout motorsport, she will hope to take the championship away from fellow Brit Chadwick this year. Her last series win was in the 2014 Asian Formula Renault Series.
Gosia Rdest, Poland, 28
A late change in the driver line-up brings Gosia Rdest back to W Series as she replaces Tasmin Pepper after changes to the South African Coronavirus travel policy. Having finished 14th in 2019 and then taking a year break from single-seaters, she may take some time to come to terms with the car again after being a late call-up for the 2021 season.
Irina Sidorkova, Russia, 17
The young Russian driver will have turned 18 the day after she competes in W Series for the first time on the 26th of June. After success in junior categories in Russia, the 2021 season is her first step into a larger series. Having competed in Asian F3 to finish 22nd, W Series gives her another chance to make that leap towards her important role in the future of women in motorsport.
Bruna Tomaselli, Brazil, 23
The final W Series rookie on the grid this year is Tomaselli, who was also on the Road to Indy programme taking part in F2000 between 2017 and 2019. Having attempted to join the 2019 lineup but ultimately being unsuccessful on evaluation day, this season will give her the chance to take part in the series and make the next step towards her future in motorsport.
Beitske Visser, Netherlands, 26
Visser finished just 10 points behind champion Jamie Chadwick in 2019 and will be hoping to take the title in 2021. In recent years, she has become successful in LMP2 cars, taking part in Le Mans 2020 before competing in the WEC this year. She finished 9th on both occasions. With such rich experience, Visser is a real favourite to fight for the title.
Fabienne Wohlwend, Liechtenstein, 23
Finishing 6th in 2019, Wohlwend is another driver who will want to move up the order in the 2021 season. Having seen success in Ferrari Challenge Europe in recent years, she’s another driver with a lot of experience who can play a major role in the series this year.
With the pandemic constantly causing a change in restrictions and the location of races, we will likely see more of these drivers than in a usual season. As seen with Rdest already, the line-up will change as drivers battle the restrictions in place.
Tasmin Pepper, South Africa, 30
Having competed in W Series in 2019, Pepper is well-qualified for the challenge of taking a seat at the last moment. With lots of Formula VW and Volkswagen Polo Cup experience in South Africa, she is well-placed to take any opportunities that come her way throughout the season.
Abbi Pulling, UK, 18
With Alice Powell as her driver coach, Pulling is in a good position to take the place of a driver, if necessary, this season. Having recently taken 6th place in the 2020 British F4 championship, she is a real talent, and she will play a role in the future of women in motorsport alongside her coach.
Naomi Schiff, Rwanda, 27
Alongside her commentary and presenting duties this year, Schiff will have a reserve driver role this year. Having finished 16th in 2019, she did get some points after two 10th place finishes and will be ready to take up the role if required this year.
Caitlin Wood, Australia, 24
Like Pepper and Schiff, Wood took part in the 2019 season and will be well-prepared to take the place of a driver this year. With experience in various cars, she is ready for any scenario that may arise throughout the season.