W Series will join Formula 1’s support package for the first time later this year at the US and Mexico City Grand Prix’s, it has been announced.
The all-female single-seater series is to stage a further two races to its original six-race calendar, forming a back-to-back “double header” to end the season.
The championship, which premiered in 2019 in a 18-car field, saw Williams development driver Jamie Chadwick crowned the first-ever W Series champion.
COTA will host the event on October 24, before the Mexico round at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez takes place the following week.
“We are delighted to welcome W Series to two such spectacular events of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship such as those in Austin and Mexico City,” said F1 managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn.
“In just one year, W Series has contributed significantly to increasing interest in the topic of diversity and inclusion in motorsport.
“We are convinced that our sport must offer equal opportunities for men and women to compete together – it is no coincidence that improving the diversity of the F1 grid by supporting and promoting driver talent from under-represented backgrounds is one of our strategic objectives.
“The ability for the great crowds who traditionally attend the Austin and Mexico City Grands Prix to see these talented female drivers up close will definitely further raise the awareness of the importance of inclusion and diversity in motorsport.”
Catherine Bond Muir, W Series CEO added: “We at W Series are absolutely delighted that, in only our second season, our championship has been welcomed by Formula 1, and we’re utterly thrilled that the final two races of the 2020 W Series season will therefore take place as part of the Formula 1 platform.
“Our two all-new races will follow six races on the DTM platform, making a very varied, extremely exciting and truly international eight-race championship, in eight countries across the globe.
“I’m particularly pleased that W Series will now stage races outside Europe, and the USA and Mexico are of course both very important new territories for us.
“Interest in and enthusiasm for W Series was enormous in our first season, 2019, among media and fans alike, and the addition of two all-new W Series races on the Formula 1 platform will inevitably increase that enthusiasm and interest.
“Commercially, too, following the successful recent announcement of W Series’ new multi-year sponsor-partnership with ROKiT Phones, the fact that W Series will be even bigger and even better in 2020 than it was in 2019 will make the return on investment for our future sponsor-partners better and bigger, too.
“A lot of work has gone into stitching the W Series / Formula 1 deal together, but above all I want to thank W Series’drivers, the brave and talented young women who captured the imagination of the sporting world last summer. Mark my words: they’ll do so again this year, from May to October, all over the world.”