Jamie Chadwick ran a perfect final race at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday to be crowned the W Series champion for the second year running.
Prior to the double-header finale weekend, the Brit was tied on points with compatriot Alice Powell, who struggled with starts from P10 and P9 in Austin.
Dominant back-to-back victories for Chadwick at COTA clinched her second W Series title – making her the only woman to win the championship so far.
Powell and Chadwick were locked in a close title battle across all eight W Series rounds, which were held in lavish new locations as part of the Formula 1 undercard.
Chadwick admitted the reality of beating her opponent in never-before-seen circumstances so late on in the season was something that would “take a while to sink in.”
“There’s been really high pressure all year – with the nature of the championship, you can’t have a bad result,” she said after being crowned the 2021 winner.
“Being pushed so closely by Alice and being level going into the last weekend but technically behind on wins really made me feel like I was under pressure to get the results.”
Out of the eight rounds this year, there was just one where Chadwick missed out on a podium spot. The Veloce Racing star’s opening race in Austria looked to have set the tone for the season with a nightmare start as she faced technical issues across the weekend and finished in P6 after a collision sent her right to the back of the herd.
However, her comeback was one to behold. After the initial disappointment, the 23-year-old came back to make the podium for the remaining seven races and win four of them.
Chadwick’s lucrative 2021 win landed her a handsome £363,000 in prize money to continue to help fund her racing career. But perhaps the most important reward of all – 15 points have been added to her FIA super licence, which will ultimately help her make the step from W Series to Formula 1.
A total of 40 super licence points are required to compete in the top bracket of single-seater racing, and 25 needed to take part in an F1 practice session.
As a development driver for Williams and now boasting 15 points on her super licence, Chadwick has taken a mammoth step towards making history in F1.
It’s been more than 40 years since a woman appeared on an F1 grid, but the tide is slowly starting to change.
After the final race at COTA, Williams teammate and F1 star George Russell came out to support Chadwick on another historic title.
“The opportunity the W Series gives us all, but especially me now as a double champion is huge,” Chadwick said. “I’m going to relish that, take as much as I can, and hopefully step forward into bigger things.
“What’s going to come with this season’s win is going to be amazing. I’m so excited for what’s next – I don’t know what’s next but it’s been a really important leg up in my career to have that double championship.”