The start of the 2021 W Series is just weeks away now and the drivers are ready to get behind the wheel in Austria when the opener gets underway at the Red Bull Ring.
Reigning champion Jamie Chadwick will be the one to beat this year as she vies to win back-to-back series – but the level of talent competing against her poses a huge threat to her title. One driver pushing to close in on the Briton’s crown is Spaniard Marta García, who is eager to make her mark on women’s motorsport.
The 20-year-old sat down with GiveMeSport Women to talk about 2021 preparations and her journey into the world of racing…
Who is Marta García?
García is one of the youngest drivers in this season’s W Series tournament. However, her youth by no means spells inexperience.
Born in the area of Denia in Spain, she grew up idolising Fernando Alonso and was tuned into Formula 1 from the age of six. From there, her love for racing grew and she soon found herself sat behind the wheel of a kart.
“When I was about 10-years-old, I obviously knew of Fernando and I had him on my mind as a reference. But as time passed, when I was 13-14, I looked towards Danica Patrick, who was a NASCAR driver. She was another reference because at the end of the day, she was a girl and there weren’t many girls racing.
“She was great – she was getting polls and she was showing what she could do. Obviously now, in the last few years, I’ve looked towards Lewis Hamilton.”
Like many professional drivers, García started laying the foundations for her career at a young age. She first discovered a passion for motorsport when she was nine years of age – fooling around on go-karts with her father during a day out. From there, the Spaniard couldn’t focus on anything but racing.
“I really liked it, the feeling of driving,” she said. “It was so different from all the other things I was trying, because I’m a big sports person. I just love sports – but I’d never tried motorsports. So I tried it and I loved it and that’s how it started.”
W Series title chances
García competed in the inaugural season of the W Series back in 2019, finishing in a very respectable fourth place. She opened up her portfolio by finishing on the podium after the debut race in Hockenheim, followed by a fourth and sixth place finish. However, German circuit Nosiring was García’s calling after she raced to an emphatic win, ahead of eventual champion Chadwick.
After a successful test event week in Anglesey, the drivers are ready to compete again after a long wait to get back behind the wheel.
“I feel confident,” García admitted. “I feel like I’m strong physically and I feel like my mindset is there. So I just have to put everything together and try to do the best I can because I think it’s going to be a good season.”
García will be joined by some of the best female racers in the world as they travel across Europe and North America to compete for this season’s title. She’ll be pitted against 2019 runner up Beitske Visser and of course, reigning champion Chadwick.
“It’s good being with top drivers,” she said, reflecting on their week in Wales. “It’s great because you can compare with them, you can learn from them. We’re all here racing and we’re all learning from each other.”
The first stop on the 2021 W Series calendar is back-to-back races in Austria before moving onto Silverstone. Following that, the drivers will compete across Hungary, Belgium, the Netherlands and USA before closing the season in Mexico.
Everyone has had a lot of time to train and prepare to give this campaign their all, but fuelled by her disappointment from 2019, García believes she can take home the silverware this time.
“I think I’ve got what it takes. I’m going to try my best to fight for the Championship.”
García will also be driven by the fact that, whether they realise it or not, these women are role models for the next generation. For more than 40 years, female drivers haven’t been associated with Formula 1, but plans are in the pipeline for all that to change.
The Spaniard confessed she can empathise with the young girls out there who are looking up to the women in helmets they’re seeing on their screen. For García, the journeys are similar and she is passionate about proving women can indeed compete at the highest level of motorsport.