Chadwick: F1 still ‘way off’ a female driver but ‘making progress’

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Jamie Chadwick spoke exclusively to Sky Sports News, discussing the F1 Academy, her own ambitions and her year with Indy NXT; watch the Japanese Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend, with qualifying at 7am on Saturday and the race underway at 6am on Sunday

Jamie Chadwick says more women are needed in the Formula 1 feeder series, but insists she wants to reach the top of the sport on merit.

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Jamie Chadwick says more women are needed in the Formula 1 feeder series, but insists she wants to reach the top of the sport on merit.

Jamie Chadwick says more women are needed in the Formula 1 feeder series, but insists she wants to reach the top of the sport on merit.

Three-time W Series champion Jamie Chadwick thinks motorsport has progressed, but it will be some time before a woman features in Formula 1.

This year has included the first season of the F1 Academy, an all-female racing series with the aim of preparing female drivers to progress to the top levels of the sport, headed up by Susie Wolff.

Chadwick did not compete in that competition, but has driven in Indy XNT and taken part in the Williams Driver Academy in 2023 and believes F1 is still “way off” from seeing a driver taking up a full-time seat.

“Realistically, we need to see a lot more women in Formula 2, Formula 3 and in these categories, to have the opportunity to progress into Formula 1,” Chadwick told Sky Sports News.

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“Already, we are seeing more and more, but at the moment we are lacking that feeder series through and up to F1 for women.

“We are getting closer, but we are way off. The likes of the F1 Academy will make a big difference.”

Despite the challenges for women in F1, Chadwick still maintains her own ambitions to reach the top level of the sport and wants to reach that highest levels “on merit”.

In October 2022, Chadwick told Sky Sports News that she hopes to be on the F1 grid by 2027, and hasn’t wavered on that target.

Championship leader Marta Garcia believes the F1 Academy helps female drivers get into motorsport and be seen.

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Championship leader Marta Garcia believes the F1 Academy helps female drivers get into motorsport and be seen.

Championship leader Marta Garcia believes the F1 Academy helps female drivers get into motorsport and be seen.

“It’s still on my mind. I always want to compete at the top level of my sport,” she said.

“I want to be there on merit and for the right reasons. It relies on me having success in Indy NXT and from there seeing it very much short-term.

“The long term goal is going to the top, but it’s about taking it step by step.”

Chadwick joined Indy NXT last season for Andretti Autosport, becoming the first woman in 13 years to compete full-time in the series. She said it was her most challenging but rewarding season.

The 25-year-old finished in 12th overall, after a strong performance during the second half of the season.

“It was always going to be a challenge, I knew it was going to be a challenge I was capable of. It gave me a big sense of encouragement.

“Because of it being a challenge, I enjoyed it more than any year that I have raced.”

Get ready to set those early alarms as Formula 1 now heads to Suzuka for the Japanese GP. Watch all sessions live on Sky Sports F1 from Friday morning. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW. Cancel anytime

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