Wednesday, 10 october 2018, 11:01 , by Matthew Scott
News on Wednesday that an all-women racing series is to be launched in 2019 in an attempt to find female Formula drivers was met with a range of reactions and plenty of discussion. David Coulthard is heading up a group that will launch the W Series next year, with a $1.5million prize pot on offer to try and secure better funding for female racers.
A woman has not started a grand prix since the 1970s, but the W Series hopes to help break through the "glass ceiling at around the GP3/Formula 3 level".
The series has been backed by Tatiana Calderon, Sauber's test and development driver, as well as GP3 racer and Jamie Chadwick, who recently became the first female race winner in British Formula 3.
Not all reaction has been positive – British IndyCar driver Pippa Mann among those to voice opposition to the series.
And reaction was similarly mixed among motorsport fans in GPFans' social media network.
GPFANS READERS' VIEW
Stuart Jones: "I've karted against women and I'd love to see more women enter all levels and I'm in favour of anything that would help to achieve that.
Wullie Ormond: "I think this is a brilliant idea."
Christoph Büscher: "Good idea but only as an addition to racing in other categories. A kind of necessary evil to promote women in motorsport for the moment, but not the general direction we should go in."
Aidan Millward: "The only half decent single seater females out there at the minute are Jamie Chadwick and Tatiana Calderon. Would be a waste of time and money."
William Norris: "I'm not against women in F1, if their skills merit it... I would say that the champion each year gets a spot with the likes of say Sauber."
Jerry Mascarenhas: "Good Idea. There are many female drivers who stop driving in sports as there is not much way forward. This platform should see some real talent."
Zenzi Mulder: "All this 'segregation' stuff is missing the point, there already IS segregation. Lower tiers have a ton of female racers but for some reason few of them make it to the feeder series? Let them have their own series, see how well they do so they can shut up the debate surrounding this once and for all."
Eathan Haywood-Weeb: "If women aren't making it into the regular categories then they clearly don't deserve to be in F1."
Brian Weaver: "Making a separate series just for women would be sexism at its finest! What happened to equality?"
Wilson Duke Dillmore: "This is a backward step. With financing women can race with and against men."
Laird Groff: "Coulthard might have his heart in the right place but history is liable to see it differently."
Michael Østrem: "Bad idea, talent isn't gender related. Putting women in a separate series is not the way to go. You will only get good female F1 drivers if they compete in the same series as men. All one has to do is encourage and give them a chance."