Like most female racing drivers, the journey starts when she gets behind the wheel of her first kart — often spurred on by someone close to her who shares their passion for motorsport.
This certainly seemed to be the case this weekend as Formula 1 star George Russell stood trackside to witness a huge moment in his niece’s potential future driving career.
The Williams driver watched on with his young nephew as his niece raced in her first ever karting session.
The emergence of female racing stars in recent years has seen more women and young girls than ever before pursue careers on the grid.
Particularly, W Series — the highest division of all-female single-seater racing — has provided a platform for women to showcase their abilities and help them find pathways into the highest levels of motorsport.
The 2021 W Series campaign saw Jamie Chadwick clinch her second consecutive championship, after winning the inaugural season back in 2019. As a result of her victory, the Brit was awarded with 15 FIA Super Licence points, which contributes to a potential career in Formula 1.
Chadwick is also signed to Williams as a development driver, where she has built a close friendship with Russell.
The soon-to-be Mercedes driver watched Chadwick win the 2021 W Series title at the Circuit of the Americas last month and celebrated with her at the finish line.
Not only is Russell a clear supporter of the female drivers currently competing at high level, but he is playing a part in encouraging and inspiring a new generation too.
The 23-year-old posted some heartwarming photos of him and his nephew trackside at a karting venue on Saturday. The pair watched as Russell’s niece enjoyed her first karting session, much to the delight of many F1 fans.
Russell’s post has pulled in more than 46,000 likes and plenty of supporters have praised the Brit for supporting her passion.
One user wrote: “Can’t wait for her to follow [in] your footsteps and be on the F1 grid,” while another said motorsport needs “more little girls with big dreams.”
Lewis Hamilton also attended a W Series practice session during the US Grand Prix weekend. The seven-time championship winner wrote: “Out watching and supporting @wseriesracing, these women are awesome,” in a recent Twitter post.
With the backing of these global superstars, the future is looking to be an extremely bright for women in motorsport.