Named the W Series, this project was conceptualized and resultantly developed by a group of racing professionals including ex-Formula 1 driver David Coulthard, F1 designer Adrian Newey, former McLaren and Manor team manager Dave Ryan, and journalist Matt Bishop.
The open-wheel league will be free to enter for 18-20 yet unnamed drivers selected by “a rigorous pre-selection process involving on-track testing, simulator appraisal, technical engineering tests, fitness trials etc," according to a statement from the series. Competitors will be vying for their share of a money pool totaling $1.5 million while the overall champion will earn $500,000. Winnings will be awarded through 18th place in the standings.
Drivers will pilot spec Tatuus T-318 Formula 3 cars, all equipped with identical 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder engines and Sadev six-speed sequential gearboxes. These machines will also be fitted with Halo cockpit safety devices.
In efforts of undercutting planned criticisms for segregating women from their male counterparts, the W Series released the following quote in an official release:
“At the heart of W Series’ DNA is the firm belief that women can compete equally with men in motorsport. However, an all-female series is essential in order to force greater female participation. W Series is, therefore, a mission-driven competition, the aim of which is not only to provide exciting racing for spectators and viewers on a global scale, but also to equip its drivers with the experience and expertise with which they may progress their careers, racing and honing their skills in W Series before eventually graduating to existing high-level mainstream racing series.”
The initial season of competition will take place across Europe with expansion to the Americas, Asia, and Australia planned for the coming years.