W Series returns to race action this weekend alongside the FIA Formula One world championship at the Styrian Grand Prix at the Spielberg circuit in Austria this weekend as the series returns to racing for the first time in over a year.

W Series has not competed on track since the dramatic conclusion to season one at Brands Hatch in August 2019 which saw Jamie Chadwick become the inaugural champion. The Briton and her 17 rivals – including Polish reserve driver Gosia Rdest – will make their long-awaited return on Friday 25 June at 13.10 (local time, CEST) for a 30-minute practice session. This will be followed on the same day by qualifying from 16.30 to 17.00. The first race of the season of 30 minutes plus one lap will start at 16.30 on Saturday 26 June.

Round two will start on Friday 2 July with practice from 12.55 to 13.25, followed by qualifying from 16.30 to 17.00 on the same day. The second race of the season will start at 16.30 on Saturday 3 July and once again be contested over 30 minutes plus one lap.

The 2021 line up is as follows:

  • Beitske Visser, Netherlands, 25
  • Alice Powell, UK, 27
  • Marta García, Spain, 20
  • Emma Kimiläinen, Finland, 31
  • Fabienne Wohlwend, Liechtenstein, 23
  • Miki Koyama, Japan, 23
  • Sarah Moore, UK, 27
  • Vicky Piria, Italy, 27
  • Tasmin Pepper, South Africa, 30
  • Jessica Hawkins, UK, 25
  • Sabré Cook, USA, 26
  • Ayla Ågren, Norway, 27
  • Abbie Eaton, UK, 28
  • Belén García, Spain, 21
  • Nerea Martí, Spain, 18
  • Irina Sidorkova, Russia, 17
  • Bruna Tomaselli, Brazil, 23

W Series Race Director Dave Ryan commented saying:

“It’s been a long wait since our 2019 season finale at Brands Hatch, and while the world has changed considerably since then so too has W Series. We are very excited to be running on the Formula 1 platform this year at some of my favourite circuits with a great mix of established W Series drivers and very exciting newcomers. Now it’s time to deliver on-track and we are all excited to see how it goes.”

Fabienne Wohlwend, 23, Liechtenstein (Finished sixth in 2019 W Series season) said:

“Coming from a quiet village in the mountains in Liechtenstein, just across the border from Austria where I go to the gym every day to train, I feel right at home racing in the stunning Styrian mountains. I raced at the Red Bull Ring in the Audi Sport TT Cup in 2017 and, though the circuit is short at only nine corners, the sharp elevation changes and sweeping bends make it very sweet to drive. Opportunistic overtaking is rewarded, and you’ll see lots of that in the W Series races as we all look to put down a marker at the start of the season.”

Ross Brawn (Managing Director of Motorsport, Formula 1) said:

“We are incredibly proud to have W Series join us for their first race of the season, ensuring we continue to showcase the best of the best and grow our motorsport portfolio, as well as enhancing the overall fan experience across the weekend. It also ensures we continue to champion and build diversity across the sport, with many of the women competing in the series already ingrained within the Formula 1 community. We can’t wait to see how the championship progresses and are thrilled to welcome W Series to the Formula 1 community.”

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