Site logo

Coulthard launches all-women race series

NEWS STORY
10/10/2018

David Coulthard has unveiled a women only race series, scheduled to get underway next year.

"If you want a fundamental change in the outcome, you need a fundamental change in the process," said former F1 star turned TV pundit, David Coulthard, the driving force behind the new W Series.

"W is a fundamental change in creating an opportunity to bring through female talent to the highest possible level," he added.

While Susie Wolff is the last woman to drive an F1 car in anger, taking part in a number of FP1 sessions in 2014 and 2015 with Williams, the last woman to start a Grand Prix was Lella Lombardi back in 1976.

It is hoped W Series will attract twenty of the world's top women racers for what will initially be a six race championship based in Europe. With a prize fund of around 1.1m, the women will race identical machinery supplied by the series organisers.

"I have a reasonable understanding of the constituents of a top-class driver's necessary skill set," said design guru Adrian Newey, who is also involved in the series. "And brute strength isn't on that list.

"That being the case, I believe the reason why so few women have so far raced successfully at the highest levels against men is a lack of opportunity rather than a lack of capability."

"Can they be as good as Lewis Hamilton? I don't know," admitted Coulthard. "But I do know there are an awful lot of men in F1 who are not as good as Lewis. So if we don't create a platform that may give an opportunity to accelerate that access, then nothing is going to change."

"There are just too few women competing in single-seaters series at the moment," said Catherine Bond Muir, the series CEO. "W Series will increase that number very significantly in 2019, thereby powerfully unleashing the potential of many more female racing drivers.

"W Series drivers will become global superstars, inspirational role models for women everywhere, and every organisation, every company, every sponsor and indeed every single person who helps W Series' winners and champions achieve those ground-breaking successes will be able to celebrate their part in it, publicly, to lasting worldwide acclaim. W Series is an inspiring innovation whose time is now."

However, though delighted to see women racers being recognised, Susie Wolff argues that women really want to be judged by taking on their male counterparts.

"I respect anything that sets out to inspire and promote women in motorsport," she said. "My view on this, and I know that this is the shared position of the organisations I work with, is that we should continue to encourage and create opportunities for women to compete on the same level as men.

"We fundamentally believe that the best opportunity to identify top female talent is by facilitating a dynamic where more women can compete and rise to the top in a mixed competition on equal terms."

"What a sad day for motorsport," tweeted racer Pippa Mann. "Those with funding to help female racers are choosing to segregate them as opposed to supporting them. I am deeply disappointed to see such a historic step backwards take place in my life time."

Coulthard and Newey are both listed as members of the series advisory board, while Bond Muir, a lawyer with 25 years’ experience working in sport, is CEO. Former McLaren and Manor team manager and sporting director Dave Ryan, is the series racing director, while Tim Crow is commercial boss and the legendary Matt Bishop is communications director.

The series will use the Tatuus F3 T-318, homologated to the latest FIA F3 specification, featuring side impact panels, front and rear carbon impact structures, wheel tethers, an extractable seat, and the new Halo system along with a 4-cylinder turbocharged 270hp engine tuned by Autotecnica Motori, Sadev SL-R 82 six speed gearbox with LSD and Magnetti Morelli, paddle shift gear change and ECU and data acquisition by Magnetti Morelli.

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Mad Matt, 12/10/2018 11:39

"There seems to be an assumption that women are prevented from entering motor sport. I'm not sure that's been true for quite some time.

I had no problems getting my niece involved in karting, for example.

It seems that not many women are interested and that's where we hit a problem. Some people say that it's the fault of schools, family, society etc. that more women aren't interested in motor sport. Others say that this hasn't been true for a long time and ask "who are we to tell women that they should be interested in motor sport?".

In my experience the biggest hurdle to getting far in motor sport is the expense. You need a rich sponsor or family to get very far. I can't afford it for my kids and I'm on an OK salary and my parents couldn't afford it for me. Sadly talent alone is not enough (I'm not claiming I had the talent BTW :-) )

"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Teardrop., 11/10/2018 16:14

"I think this will make racing more entertaining, this could also help young female drivers to show there talents. not everyone has a huge budget to just drop into F1. so give the series a chance, lets face it F1is getting some what boring at the moment. Lets wait and see what the series brings. Good luck for the future. "

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Renone, 11/10/2018 10:05

"I really think this is the wrong approach and all it will do is create a them and us situation. For women to compete successful in motorsport they must do so directly and not in a separate series. There are plenty of junior categories in which women can hone their racing skills from karts onward. The problem, I believe, lies with sponsorship in other words money. If a driver has natural talent and the right financial backing they will achieve in most cases. What is needed is for a top motorsport team to identify a talented young female driver in a junior category and invest in her for the future. I read somewhere that, according to Toto Wolfe, a driver on their young driver program equates to an investment of around eight million so the talent spotters are going to be extremely selective. Hence if the driver has the right financial support in the junior categories they can concentrate on driving and impressing the talent spotters rather then chasing sponsors or being limited in their efforts through lack of money. So what I would suggest is a young female driver program from Karts onward which offers not only proper financial support but individual coaching from experienced drivers. "

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by nonickname, 11/10/2018 9:46

"Hi Greybeard.. all I can say is HUH?
You are suggesting that a woman is only able to handle 1 horse power and could not handle any more,shame on you.
I also think that we 'greybeards' live in the old world. All the little girls in our neighborhood ride BMX's or mopeds with no problem from dad."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by Greybeard, 10/10/2018 23:33

"The defensive nature of some of the comments here reveal the attitude problem that the organisers of the proposed championship are trying to deal with.

A women-only championship illegal? That'll be news to the International Tennis Federation - and many others too. And can you think of a discipline in the Olympics where men and women compete on equal terms? (But see below)

As for women in motorsport: there are many on the design and development side and while I don't watch much F1 I'm sure I've seen women in the 'live' area of the pits on more than one occasion. And wasn't Audi's last Le Mans winning car under the management of Leena Gade? I seem to recollect she's not unique, either.

I think the only International discipline in which men and women compete on equal terms is equestrianism. In this case the horse is the motive power - as a car would be - so physical strength is less important. But the point here is that a little girl who wants a pony and hopes to go to shows to compete is, all other things being equal, more likely to get her wish than a little girl who wants a kart or mini-motorbike. While this proposed series won't solve that problem directly it may, by giving a high profile opportunity to women, make more parents think like Hamilton's and Button's fathers did rather than shying away from it. And that can only be good.

Where attitudes are so entrenched only some form of positive discrimination will make a difference.

And anyway, what's anyone got to be scared of?





"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by yakker, 10/10/2018 20:01

"Coulthard said he believed men and women could compete on equal terms in motorsport. So why will women only drivers show they are as good as men? I'm sure a women could be a winner in F1, but they need to show they can race against anyone and win, after all Ana Carrasco has just done it in motorcycle racing."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

7. Posted by Uffen, 10/10/2018 16:21

"The article says this is all-female. Not just female drivers. Team management, mechanics, support staff. All female. That is unless the article is wrong.
Coulthard and his supporters want women to get access to "the top levels" so that includes all players, I presume.
If it is just for female drivers then we have a whole new kind of "glass ceiling" to talk about. "

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

8. Posted by nonickname, 10/10/2018 12:53

"Just think, they could have a link at the bottom of each article saying 'The beautiful husbands and boyfriend of the drivers'"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

9. Posted by Chris Balfe (editor), 10/10/2018 12:51

"@ gilgo

And I do beleive there's a hint of 'mansplaining' there also"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

10. Posted by gilgo, 10/10/2018 12:46

"So coulthard is being sexist and breaking the law by having a series restricted to women?"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

11. Posted by nonickname, 10/10/2018 10:52

"I can't wait for this to start. Give it 5 years and you will have a second race series where the women want the same salaries as the men, and are not in the same league. Just think,tennis,golf even rugby.
If you want to be equal in all respects join the boys in all sorts."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

12. Posted by @R1Racing71, 10/10/2018 10:32

"I should have also added to my previous post, and with my sales and marketing hat on for the moment, is that there is a huge, huge oppotunty for top line female racers. The first women to compete wheel to wheel against the likes of Hamilton / Rossi / Marquez and be consistantly be faster and beat them, will make as much money as thier competitors combined sallarys put together."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

13. Posted by Young Slinger, 10/10/2018 10:29

"At last. It is all very well for Pippa to burble about segregation but the fact is that female drivers in motor sport are the exception, not the rule. Anything to help bring about a change is welcome. As Adrian Newey states, brute strength in not required. Fitness and skill is the order of the day and anything to showcase the ability of young female drivers, to give them a chance, must be for the good."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

14. Posted by PlayF1, 10/10/2018 10:21

"I disagree with Susie and Pippa - they are both dreaming.
They think that because they made it to a reasonably high position, then surely others can do it.
... but look around you ladies.

The other traditional male sports have attracted women by providing them with their own series.
This has proved to be successful.

It's a good idea to follow a path that is known to reach its destination, rather than wandering around aimlessly.

"

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

15. Posted by @R1Racing71, 10/10/2018 10:21

"This is a good start - and indeed the catalyst for change, I wish the series well.
The problem appears to be that there ar not enough young women entering the sport at entry level, I would guess that young boys out number the girls 10-1 at the moment, the law of averadges dictates that only the guys will rise to the top, be it on four wheels or two. Things are definatly getting better due to widely available tv coveradge exposing motorsport to a new generation of enthusiast, dare I say it is more "acceptable" these days for Women to compete against the men compared to how it was back in the early eighties when I first became interested. For example, I remember asking my mother during a race once, why there wern't any woment racers. She simply replied, "Women are far too sensible to do that!" Funny how things have changed isn't it?"

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2018. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  terms  |  privacy & security  |  rss