Super Prospect women’s race on F1 Ambitions
- Jamie Chadwick has been the most publicized female racing driver for decades and could become F1’s first female driver in 45 years.
- She explained to Insider how she handles the pressure of expectations and her hopes for the future.
- Chadwick has also said she would like to have Lewis Hamilton as a teammate.
It’s been 45 years since the last female driver was in a Formula 1 race, but if Jamie Chadwick gets his wish, that stretch won’t last very long.
The 23-year-old Briton is a rising star not only in women’s motorsport, but also in sport in general. She was presented as the most likely candidate to succeed Lella Lombardi, the last woman to run in F1 in 1976.
Chadwick has just won his second W Series crown, maintaining his 100% competition record so far, and is a development driver for the Williams F1 team.
As perhaps the most publicized female racing driver in decades, Chadwick is a highly sought-after property.
She told Insider why Lewis Hamilton would be her dream teammate and how she thinks F1 has now become a realistic goal.
Besides the speed, adrenaline and thrill of it, teamwork drew Chadwick to the sport.
Like all racing drivers, Chadwick got his first taste of the sport from the seat of a kart. She started running when she was 11 and said right away that she saw it was a sport with so much going on.
“So many different things appealed,” she told Insider.
“Obviously there was the sporting element. I just played different sports so I immediately felt at home with that, but also the speed, the adrenaline, the thrill of it.
“Besides the fact that it’s also a massive team sport which I think people don’t do as well. There were so many different factors at the start that caught my interest.”
After the initial apprehension, she felt that joining the only women’s championship was “obvious”
Since those early days, Chadwick has raced in eight different series, most recently winning her second W Series crown where she is the undisputed champion.
The W series, which is a women’s only competition, has been going on for two seasons and both times it’s Chadwick’s name on the championship trophy.
But she wasn’t entirely convinced the W series was the place for her when she first heard about the proposals.
“Initially, it wasn’t a dead cert that I was going to get involved in the show,” she said.
“I heard it was announced and since it was an all-female series, it wasn’t necessarily something I felt the need to do.
“I was racing against men tied and I was happy to do it. At first I had some doubts, but it was explained to me in more detail and I realized it was a fully funded series.In the first season we swapped cars every weekend, we shared everything.
“There are cash prizes and we are supported to try to increase our opportunities in the sport. It was obvious to get involved and try my luck to win it.”
Her luck came and this season she won the title by beating compatriot Alice Powell by 27 points.
“We need to create more opportunities to bring women into sport”
While most sports have seen an upward trend in female participation in recent years, the number of women in motorsport is declining. The W-Series has the stated aim of boosting the participation of women, not only among pilots, but also among mechanics and engineers.
Chadwick said the key was “to understand that there are not enough women competing in this sport”.
“We need to create more opportunities to get women in sport to try and equalize. What W Series does is give women a lot more visibility than ever before,” she said.
“[It’s] the opportunity for young girls to watch the W series and watch sport and see it as not just a male dominated sport.
“It’s great that this is what the show was able to do and hopefully it will help a bigger change with more women involved.”
Chadwick says F1 has now become a realistic goal
When she first started, Chadwick didn’t have any set goals, but with the experience behind her, she had the foresight to start creating long-term goals.
“It was really something I did for fun in the early years and early stages, so it wasn’t something I thought about in terms of planning ahead and thinking: “Okay, I want to do this in five years,” “she said.
“More recently, I’ve been trying to set longer term goals and think about what the dream is and what the ultimate goal is.”
One of those goals is, of course, Formula 1. At one point this might have been just a pipe dream, but with Chadwick joining the Williams F1 team as a development driver. in 2020, its road to the top of motorsport is now clearer.
“[F1 has only] became the goal more recently in the last few years, “she said.” Before, it was far away. It’s amazing that now I can see it as maybe a goal to have. “
In hopes of becoming the first female F1 driver since Lombardi, the pressure is on, but Chadwick said she tries not to think too much about it.
“I think it’s a pressure that I probably justify myself, but it’s something I try not to think about too much but at the same time it’s a goal that I want to achieve so I’m happy to take it. this pressure.
“If it’s not me, I hope another girl comes out and carries this flag for me.”
“In my opinion, [Lewis Hamilton] is the greatest of all time “
If she arrives in F1, she says she would love to have Lewis Hamilton as a teammate.
“I wouldn’t say I would beat him, but I would love to face Lewis [Hamilton].
“He’s amazing and I think what he has accomplished in the sport is amazing.
“In my opinion, he’s the greatest of all time, so having him as a teammate would be pretty special.”