This event revives the debate on the role of women in motorsport. Find out here more about it
In October 2018, the W Series was officially born. This is a championship that aims to reinforce the role of women on the road to Formula 1. The new championship is driven by Adrian Newey, technical director of Red Bull; Dave Ryan, former sports director of McLaren; and by former racing driver David Coulthard, among other personalities, according to El Economista of Spain.
The start date is scheduled for March 2019, that is, in a short time, as the same media reports. Therefore, the preparations are advanced, especially with regard to the choice of venues and participating pilots.
Leer en español: W Series: un campeonato de automovilismo solo para mujeres
According to PlayGround Magazine, few people know that Formula 1 is mixed, that is, there is no limitation on the participation of women, at least on paper. So, why have there been few women in the F1? The reasons are many, but among these, we can highlight the percentage of men who participate, which is higher than the percentage of women, according to AS. Therefore, in this case, it is for mere statistics.
Another reason, perhaps the main one, is an open debate in all categories of motorsport: the physical differences between men and women. According to the same Mexican website, the hardness of the flyers in some categories could be a limitation, but it clarifies that not only for women but for some men.
It also highlights the G-Force, which occurs in the driving of automobiles. However, for the Spanish driver Marta García, who is part of Renault's academy for young racing drivers, this can be overcome with adequate training.
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As in other sports, in F1, sexism has also been an obstacle. In 2016, Bernie Ecclestone, the former F1 director commented: "I do not know any woman who is physically capable of driving a Formula 1 car quickly, they should not be taken seriously," according to El País of Spain.
However, motorsport has begun with a transition stage. In 2018, it eliminated the "girls on the grid", in addition to the creation of the announced W Series. Before, only two women had competed in the F1, Italy racing drivers Maria Teresa de Filippis in 1958 and Lella Lombardi between 1974 and 1976, according to the same media. So, 42 years have passed without female pilots in this category.
The new W Series has awakened the debate on the role of women in this sport, so there are voices for and against. On the one hand, those who are in favor do so consider the physical differences that limit women to participate in the maximum circuit. Among these voices is the Spanish Carmen Jordá, who will do the selection tests of the new championship and who has declared AS:
"In my experience, you feel that the problem is in the F1 pre-categories, because in the previous categories like F3 or karting, the physical disadvantage is not so great, but when you get to GP3 or GP2 or WS, it's where I believe, that a woman has disadvantages because it is not about training more in the gym, it is about the pilots already going to the limit with their physical abilities."
In contrast, Pippa Mann, a pilot of IndyCar, sees it as a setback because he considers that it isolates women. Mann says that for women whose only opportunity is the W Series, this will be a great support. However, for those who were already on another level, fighting for the maximum circuit, this represents a step back.
"What a sad day for motorsports! Those who have funding to help female pilots choose to marginalize them instead of supporting them," she wrote in his Twitter account, according to Soy Motor.
For its part, the Colombian Tatiana Calderón, pilot test driver of the Alfa Romeo Sauber Formula 1, is in favor of the W Series : "Hopefully this category will help create opportunities for some young promises and eventually allow the best to demonstrate that we can compete at the same level as men," she told Marca.
Between November and December, women will seek to be among the 18 or 20 selected that will compete in the W Series, in the 6 races projected throughout Europe.
LatinAmerican Post | Luis Liborio
Translated from "W Series: un campeonato de automovilismo solo para mujeres"
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