W Series Uses Formula 1’s Slipstream to Reach Growing Fan Base

    • The W Series, a women's racing series, kicked off its third season in Miami.
    • The series recently announced deals with ESPN and Sky Sports.

Over the weekend in Miami, a racing series began what it hopes is a new chapter of expansive growth in the U.S. and beyond. And Formula 1 was there, too. 

The all-female W Series kicked off its third season with two races in Miami that preceded F1’s first Grand Prix in the city. 

The W Series will grow to 10 races over eight weekends this year, up from eight races in 2021, each one aligned with F1’s calendar. 

  • On May 5, W Series announced an agreement with ESPN to carry its full 2022 season in the U.S.
  • Sky Sports inked a three-year deal in April to broadcast the series in the U.K.

“We might have broken some [broadcast] records [in Miami],” W Series media and communications manager Joe Downes told Front Office Sports at the Miami Grand Prix.

There are four teams managed by the W Series. Private team owners include Puma, former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, crypto exchange Quantfury, and a decentralized autonomous organization called CortDAO

There is no entry fee, and all drivers race in a standardized car.

The F1 Connection

Several drivers work with F1 teams, including two-time champion and winner of both Miami races, Jamie Chadwick.

The series has “evolved massively” since 2019, Chadwick told FOS. “If you had told me at the start of last season that we would be in Miami, I don’t know if I would have believed you.”

Chadwick uses F1 team Williams’ simulators and other training facilities as she works toward her “ultimate goal” of driving for its F1 team.