Jamie Chadwick: Williams F1 Driver Academy Focus

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For many people, Jamie Chadwick was an unknown driver until 2019 catapulted her to celebrity status. Her superb performance in winning the inaugural W Series championship, countless media appearances and signing to the Williams Driver Academy has almost made her a household name. Well, a household name if your house likes motorsport.

Jamie Chadwick: Williams F1 Driver Academy Focus
Image: Williams F1

Jamie Chadwick’s early years of racing

Jamie began karting at age 11 following her brother Oliver. She won a Ginetta Junior scholarship in 2013 and teamed with her brother at JHL Developments. She remained in the series for 2014 and finished 8th with 5 podiums.

Jamie Chadwick and older brother ollie pose with their Ginetta Junior cars
Jamie Chadwick and older brother ollie pose with their Ginetta Junior cars

British GT beckoned where Chadwick signed to Beechdean Motorsport for 2015. Together with co-driver Ross Gunn, she won the GT4 category to become the youngest ever British GT Champion, and the first female champion in the series.

Jamie Chadwick wins GT4

Jamie remained in British GT for 2016 and also joined the VLN championship for one round where she scored a podium in her class.

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Chadwick joined Double R Racing in the British F3 championship in 2017 and finished the year with one podium. In her second season, she moved to Douglas Motorsport and became the first woman to ever win a British F3 race.  She followed that up by becoming the first woman ever to win the MRF Challenge series which she achieved in the 2018 – 2019 season.

In March of 2019, Chadwick was announced as one of the entrants for the inaugural W Series championship. This would see 18 female drivers competing across 6 races in Taatus built F3 cars. Chadwick won the opening race at Hockenheim and the third round at Misano. With podiums at all but one of the other 4 races, Jamie was crowned champion at Brands Hatch in front of her compatriots.

Jamie Chadwick joins Williams

With her W Series campaign off to a great start with a first and second place in two races, Williams announced that they had signed the young Briton as a development driver in May 2019. This was coupled with being signed as an Aston Martin Junior Driver at the same time showing just how highly rated Chadwick is by the motorsport world at large.

Chadwick was announced in 2019 by Extreme E as being one of their inaugural drivers in the series for 2021. She finished 4th overall in the 2019 to 2020 F3 Asian Championship, meaning she has earned 10 Superlicense points out of the 40 required for F1.

2020 saw COVID-19 affect the world and the W Series had to go virtual. However, Jamie left the E-Sports league after one round to join Prema Powerteam to compete in the 2020 Formula Regional European Championship. The season started brightly with a podium at Misano and subsequent regular points finishes means Chadwick currently sits 10th at the time of writing, with one round to complete.

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Jamie Chadwick GP Grandstand F1 Seat Prediction:

Jamie Chadwick is clearly a very talented racing driver and unarguably is one of the fastest women on the planet right now. But is she an F1 grade driver? Right now, I would say no.

When her Prema teammates such as Arthur Leclerc are winning or finishing on the podium at almost every race this season, Chadwick needs to be right there with them to demonstrate that she is just as good as them but she isn’t managing that sadly. Which is not to say that she couldn’t achieve this with a second season, I hope that is the case. After all, doesn’t Mick Schumacher always look underwhelming on his first season in a new series?

Right now, I think Jamie Chadwick is more likely to be the poster girl and siren to motorsport that brings a wave of new female talent to motorsport. Chadwick’s star power is the key that unlocks the door to future equality in driver numbers on pure merit and pure skill.

She fully deserves her place in the Driver Academy but I would like to see even more performance. Oh, and yes, we absolutely need to see Chadwick in a Williams for an F1 test in the next couple of years.

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