W Series gets support slots for F1 2020 races in USA and Mexico
All-female series up to eight races thanks to Texas, Mexico City slots
Last Updated: 16/01/20 10:18am
The all-female W Series will be part of the Formula 1 support programme in its second season with new races at the US and Mexican Grands Prix in October, organisers announced on Thursday.
The W Series, conceived as a platform to help women gain experience to help them climb up the motorsport ladder and compete with the men, started last year with six races at European circuits.
Those behind it have made no secret of their global ambitions, however.
The races at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and Mexico City's Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez expand the second season to eight rounds with the other six accompanying the DTM German Touring Car championship.
"In just one year, W Series has contributed significantly to increasing interest in the topic of diversity and inclusion in motorsport," Ross Brawn, Formula 1's managing director for motorsport, said.
"We are convinced that our sport must offer equal opportunities for men and women to compete together.
"It is no coincidence that improving the diversity of the F1 grid by supporting and promoting driver talent from under-represented backgrounds is one of our strategic objectives."
Formula 1 has not had a female racer line up on the starting grid since 1976.
Jamie Chadwick won the inaugural W Series championship and subsequently a development F1 driver role at Williams. She will be looking to retain her crown this year.