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Chadwick: Budget still an issue despite W Series win

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Chadwick: Budget still an issue despite W Series win
By:
Aug 17, 2019, 2:22 PM

Jamie Chadwick has expressed interest in racing in FIA Formula 3 next year, but admits that her prize money for claiming the inaugural W Series crown may not be enough to guarantee her a competitive seat.

Williams F1 development driver Chadwick finished fourth in a tense finale at Brands Hatch last weekend to beat season-long rival Beitske Visser to the title.

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The 21-year-old scooped the top prize of $500,000 for her triumph, and is one of 12 drivers guaranteed W Series seats for the 2020 season.

Chadwick said the prospect of being able to earn FIA superlicence points would make returning to defend her crown an attractive proposition, but also said she would like to step up to FIA F3 in 2020 if possible. 

However, with budgets in the F1 support series estimated to be up to $1m for top drives, Chadwick admits that making up the shortfall won't be straightforward.

"I think that’s the bit that people don’t get," said Chadwick when asked by Motorsport.com whether she believed she could supplement her W Series prize fund.

"When I say personally I want to step up to F3 but realistically it might not be an option, that [the budgets involved] is why it might not be an option.

"There are 30 seats in that series but maybe only six that you really want. To do it with the right team is another half a million or something. The prize money in W Series is fantastic, but sadly in motorsport it can be swallowed just like that.

"Hopefully the attention this has brought on and the exposure it has provided will help will generate some more funding, but if not it’s nice to know there is the chance to do another season here [in the W Series]."

Jamie Chadwick

Jamie Chadwick

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Chadwick also acknowledged that doing a season in F3 with an uncompetitive team would risk undoing her reputation.

"It doesn’t matter who you are, you can ruin your career by doing that," she said.

"The drivers that progress into F1 have always been in the top teams, in the right environment, and I want to be the same. I don’t want to fast-track it for no reason."

Asked if she felt it was important for the W Series itself that she performs strongly in other championships in future, Chadwick replied: "Definitely.

"The main thing for the championship is, not just me but the whole grid, whenever they go and do what they want to do [in other series], we’re better when we were before, and in a situation to race at the top level.

"We won’t be able to fully silence [all the doubters] until we do what we set out to achieve, which is to get a female to the top level, to F1, and on merit."

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Jamie Chadwick

Jamie Chadwick

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

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What W Series should look like in 2020 and beyond

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About this article

Series W Series
Drivers Jamie Chadwick
Author Jamie Klein