W Series announces F1 support races in 2021
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The all-female W Series announced its provisional calendar for the 2021 season on Tuesday, consisting of eight Formula One support races starting at the French Grand Prix.
The first race will take place at Le Castellet on June 26, a day before the Grand Prix.
There will also be races in Austria, Britain, Hungary, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United States and Mexico, with the season ending there on October 30.
The W Series was launched in 2019, with drivers using identical 1.8-litre Formula 3 cars, but the 2020 season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"The eight races will allow our fast and fearless female racing drivers to showcase their skills on some of the world's most iconic racing circuits, in Europe and the Americas, and literally follow in the tyre tracks of the greatest racing drivers in the world today," said W Series chief executive Catherine Bond Muir.
F1's managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn said: "There is a really exciting mix of circuits that will showcase the exceptional talent of the drivers in the series.
"We believe that it is incredibly important to give everyone the chance to reach the highest levels of our sport, and partnering with W Series shows our determination and commitment to building greater diversity across Formula One."
The W Series was launched to boost female participation in motorsport, with the aim of equipping drivers with the skills to compete against male drivers.
The last woman to start an F1 grand prix was Lella Lombardi in 1976.