W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir says she is sorry that season 2 of the championship is over given that it was such a successful year with Formula One. Speaking following the season ending race in COTA where Jamie Chadwick retained her championship she said:
First and foremost, huge congratulations to Jamie [Chadwick] on becoming the 2021 W Series champion. Jamie has displayed remarkable consistency this year and been rewarded for her resilience having been pushed all the way by Alice [Powell]. Alice will be disappointed having come so close to winning her maiden title, but that is because she too is a champion who has been a credit to herself and W Series this year. Their enthralling title battle has captivated huge audiences around the world and the only way is up for them both. I will watch their progress with great pride.
“I am sad that the season is over because it has been such a successful one. Our landmark partnership with Formula 1 – the world’s premier motor racing series – has given our immensely talented group of drivers the chance to showcase their skills on the sport’s biggest stage, and they have seized the opportunity with both hands. I would like to thank Formula 1 and all of our partners – Acronis, Bristol Street Motors, Heineken, Hankook, PUMA, ROKiT, Ferrari Trento, U-Mask and Waterbox – for their continued support. Roll on 2022!
New champion, Jamie Chadwick of Veloce Racing commented saying:
That was a mega end to a mega year. It feels so good to finish it off like that – what a win! Thank you to W Series, Veloce, Formula 1 and everyone who’s supported me. It means so much to defend my title. It’s been really hard work this year as I’ve been pushed all the way by Alice [Powell]. The stakes were higher this weekend with the double-header, but to seal it by winning both races makes it so much sweeter and I’m delighted to come out on top. Massive congratulations to Alice who’s pushed me really hard, and it was a tough weekend for her with some issues which were out of her hands. I’ve got an amazing relationship with the Williams F1 team who have helped me win this championship so I’m really grateful to them. I don’t know what’s next for me, but I’ll enjoy this moment and go from there.”
Abbi Pulling was delighted with her first W Series podium and speaking following the action she said:
I didn’t quite believe it when I crossed the line. I’m gutted that I couldn’t put a bit more pressure on Jamie [Chadwick] but she just had the legs on me and I was maintaining the gap behind. Emma [Kimiläinen] was trying to put pressure on me, but I kept my head pretty composed and made sure that the tyres lasted the whole race because that’s what I struggled with yesterday – I learnt a lot from that race and took it into this one.
“I didn’t expect to be here this year, so to have been at three race meetings and get into the top eight in the championship is very special. I wanted to get in the top 10 so finishing seventh has exceeded all of my expectations. This weekend has been one to remember. As happy as I am about my result, I’m really gutted for Alice [Powell] and how the championship fight ended for her. I wish that she didn’t have the problems she had at the start of the weekend, and I know how she must be feeling right now. She’s given me so much support throughout the year and I wouldn’t be standing here now if it wasn’t for her. She’s taught me all I know.”
Emma Kimiläinen completed the podium in third place and speaking following the action the Finn said:
“Another podium finish feels good. I was trying to catch Abbi [Pulling], but I ended up with quite a lot of understeer and when you are driving behind someone you get aero wash, especially in those fast corners in sector one. It was so hard, I couldn’t turn the car and lost everything I gained in sector three. I did my best, brought the podium home and, after starting from sixth, I must be happy with that. Third place in the championship is a really good job. Unfortunately, the first half of the season was a little bit flat for me but, luckily, I got to turn it around and it has shown me that I have the potential to win the title next year.
“I really want to thank my team Ecurie W. I have had some changes with engineers this season and it has worked really well. We were struggling so much this weekend in the practice sessions, but then we figured it out and I am so proud of my team who have worked so hard. Greetings to my other engineer, Danny, who was watching from another race meeting today. I miss you. Thanks to Laney who was here with me and really supportive. I am blessed to be working with such talented people.”
Race Director Dave Ryan commented saying:
“If you look at the race itself with Jamie [Chadwick] starting at the front, taking the lead immediately and just controlling it, that kind of sums the race up from a championship point of view. She’s been pretty relaxed all weekend. She’s looked very confident and shown that on the track, so well done, Jamie, a brilliant job. Emma [Kimiläinen] has come alive again. She’s driven very well here. She struggled a little bit in practice, but she’s done very well and came through today. Alice [Powell] was on the back foot starting where she was. It was close but not close enough for her.
“What was also interesting was the battle for the top eight. Irina [Sidorkova] was ninth, but she was guaranteed a place in 2022 because of her Academy spot. Jessica [Hawkins] came into this race needing to gain a point on the people ahead of her and you could see in the last few laps before her accident that she was trying a bit too hard and the inevitable happened. But it was a good race and a good way to end the championship. We knew Abbi [Pulling] was good. We had an agreement with her British F4 team earlier in the year that we wouldn’t give her a drive if it compromised them. I’m very pleased that we honoured that and it was only when she had to withdraw from that championship that we were able to, with a clear conscience, put her into this championship. She’s a good young driver and she’s shown that here.
“This season has been good and it’s been tough. Everyone has had to deal with COVID-19. In Austria we had a crowd and in Zandvoort we had a big crowd. Coming here to Austin, this is what racing is all about. We’ve had an incredible crowd, an enthusiastic crowd. It’s been a fantastic event and I’ve really enjoyed it.”