The buzz surrounding the upcoming W Series season continues to grow, as Damon Hill is the latest to make a bold claim about the competition.
The 1996 Formula 1 champion has predicted it won't be long before the drivers competing in the top level of women's single-seater racing will be integrated onto the world's biggest racing stage.
In a recent tweet, Hill praised the W Series for giving female racers the opportunity to grow their status and get noticed as talented drivers. "Only a matter of time until one impresses enough to get a full F1 drive," he wrote, using Jessica Hawkins as an example.
Indeed, Hawkins has had a very impressive 2021 so far. While she prepares to feature in her second W Series, she has also been busy performing as a stunt driver in the new James Bond film, racing in the British Touring Car Championship, and taking on a new role as F1 ambassador for Aston Martin.
Reigning W Series champion Jamie Chadwick has also been busy getting her name out there. The 23-year-old is part of the inaugural Extreme E series, which sees drivers race across the most remote areas of the globe to raise awareness around climate change.
Hill's claim is not one that comes as a surprise either. Earlier this year, Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said there's a "big hope" that the series will once again welcome women to the grid in the next ten years.
The last time a woman participated in an F1 race was more than 40 years ago. Since then, the sport has birthed household names like Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen but looks no closer to having female drivers as part of the setup.
GiveMeSport Women recently spoke with Jamie Chadwick, who says women must only be called up to F1 on merit, as opposed to being a "token gesture."
"I really strongly believe that it has to happen because whoever has made it has done a good enough job to get there," she explained.
The 2021 W Series is certainly going to be one to watch. After a year's hiatus, the drivers have been training harder and longer and will be leaving nothing out on the track.
The campaign gets underway next weekend in Austria at the Red Bull Ring. Thanks to Formula 1's partnership with the tournament, more attention will be directed towards the series, and the likelihood of these world class drivers being given a chance at the highest level has never looked more promising.News Now - Sport News