When it comes to the W Series, it’s hard not to immediately think of two-time champion Jamie Chadwick.
The British driver marked a milestone in 2019 by becoming the first ever winner of the all-female Championship, and after defending her title in 2021, she remains the only W Series champion in history.
This impressive feat has established Chadwick as one of Britain’s most exciting racing talents and she is expected to continue to climb into the spotlight as the 2022 season gets underway.
Making W Series history
When the inaugural W Series season got underway in Hockenheim in 2019, Chadwick was a junior driver for Aston Martin Racing. She had previous single seater experience under her belt, but the W Series would really showcase her skill on the track.
An opening round victory set the tone for what went on to be a dominant season for the Brit. Chadwick earned five podium places out of a possible six — including wins in Germany and Italy — to secure the inaugural W Series title.
It was a rather comfortable debut campaign that saw Chadwick finish with 110 points across the six-race calendar, but the 2021 competition was nothing like the Championship had ever seen before.
The 2020 season was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic, and with a year away from the action, the drivers were ready to make a statement upon their return.
It was a thrilling season from start to finish, with Chadwick and fellow Briton Alice Powell nipping at each other’s heels throughout the year.
The title race went right down to the wire as the two battled it out across the new Formula 1 calendar, which saw the Championship host Grand Prix weekends at the likes of Silverstone and the Circuit of the Americas.
The two Brits entered the double-header finale level on points, leaving everything down to their final individual performances in Texas.
Chadwick secured the Drivers’ Championship once again thanks to back-to-back wins at COTA, extending her reign as title holder.
This year, the competition is fiercer than ever, and all eyes will be focusing on those looking to knock Chadwick off her perch for the first time and snub her of a third consecutive title.
Formula 1 dream
As well as lifting the trophy for a second season, Chadwick also received 15 FIA Super Licence points, which will count towards a potential career in Formula 1.
Drivers need 40 points to race in the Championship and 25 to qualify for official F1 practice sessions.
Chadwick has already admitted the “ultimate goal” has always been to reach the F1 grid one day, whether that dream becomes a reality somewhere in the future or not.
Ahead of the 2022 W Series season, it looked as though Chadwick would not be returning to defend her title. The 23-year-old, who is a development driver with Williams Racing, was chasing a spot in either Formula 3 or Formula 2 as the next step in her racing career.
However, Chadwick admitted that she was unable to secure a seat due to lack of funding, and while naturally disappointed to miss out this year, she stressed she is excited for another season with W Series and has not viewed it as a missed opportunity.
“There’s definitely a few people who were surprised [about her return to W Series] but the opportunity is still there and that’s the main thing for me, making the most of these great opportunities,” she said back in March.
“W Series have invested a huge amount into my career and I wouldn’t be racing without them. I’ve had two years of racing fully funded and prize money to support that.”
A new W Series chapter
With focus now fully on defending her W Series crown once again, Chadwick is set for an exciting new chapter.
The Championship recently introduced a new team, Jenner Racing, to the grid, spearheaded by ex-athlete and television personality Caitlyn Jenner.
The former Olympic gold medallist quickly snapped up reigning champion Chadwick, who will race in the black and gold livery of the Jenner Racing car this season.
W Series continues to remain in partnership with Formula 1 and has extended its calendar to ten races, which will feature five new locations, including a first-ever visit to Asia for the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka.
Another strong finish for Chadwick this season will add enough Super Licence points to her tally to qualify for F1 practice sessions. With two Championship titles already under her belt and an astonishing record of 14 podium finishes out of a possible 16, the spotlight is on the British trailblazer to continue her incredible streak.