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Hamilton hoping "global scale" impact of W Series will drive diversity

Hamilton hoping "global scale" impact of W Series will drive diversity

F1 News

Hamilton hoping "global scale" impact of W Series will drive diversity

Hamilton hoping "global scale" impact of W Series will drive diversity

Lewis Hamilton has hailed Formula 1's decision to include the W Series on next year's calendar, hoping it will help increase diversity in motorsport.

It was recently confirmed that the all-female racing series would feature on the support bill at eight as-yet-undecided grands prix in 2021.

That will serve as a major tonic after the W Series was forced to cancel its campaign for this season due to the Covid-19 pandemic after making a successful debut on the motorsport scene in 2019.

With F1 racing under the 'We Race As One' banner this year as part of its push to promote equality and diversity, newly crowned seven-time F1 champion Hamilton feels the inclusion of the W Series as part of a grand prix weekend programme is a vital step towards achieving new goals

"I think it's great what they have already done, and I think it's definitely very important they are here on a global scale," said Hamilton.

"When we talk about diversity people often think we are talking about more people of colour - it's not just that. It is having more women involved. At the moment it is a male-dominated sport and that does need to change.

"I remember racing from karting all the way up and only seeing less than a handful of young girls coming through, and I remember speaking to a couple of them just knowing how difficult it was.

"I raced with Susie [Wolff], who was such a great talent, and I remember how tough it was for her, and her being in what was perceived as a man's sport, and it's not.

"The sport does need to do more, and that is a good step in the right direction, but that needs to transcend all the way down into karts. I don't know what karting is doing but there needs to be more girls, with more opportunity to make their way up to that class.

"There's plenty of access for young boys and men to come through the karting ranks into single-seaters, but we need to do more so that young girls out there know it is a possible career path, and hopefully that's what the W Series is doing."

Valtteri Bottas echoed the views of his Mercedes team-mate, believing that with the W Series effectively piggybacking the F1 platform it will help it gain greater recognition and in turn hopefully prove inspiring to other young girls to take up racing.

"I think it's really good," said Bottas. "That series is going to be more visible than it was before, and if you can succeed, then it will proceed and impress. You never know, there may be opportunities to go much further than that.

"It's an interesting series, and now more people will know about it and be able to follow it, and it should be followed, like any other women's sports that are many times under-rated, but are really interesting to watch and get no coverage."

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