W Series returns this weekend – and makes its eagerly anticipated debut at Silverstone. With two rounds already complete in 2021, things are about to be taken up a gear. Here’s everything to watch out for this weekend…
Best of British
Racing at Silverstone is special. Racing at Silverstone as a British driver is on a whole other level. With three of the five British drivers occupying the top three spots of the Driver’s Standings at present, each one of them will be looking to make a massive impact this weekend.
Also joining the British contingent for her W Series Debut is Alice Powell’s young protege and British F4 driver, Abbi Pulling. Pulling was behind the wheel at the W Series pre-season test in Anglesey so will have a few laps of experience behind her. Racing is a very different beast from testing so we’ll be keeping a keen eye out on the 18-year-old’s progress on Saturday afternoon.
It’s also very possible that there will be an all-British podium come the end of the race on Saturday. Just four points currently separate Chadwick, Moore and Powell and it’s still all to play for. Whilst the football may not have gone England’s way, W Series just might be coming home.
W Series British GP Quotes
British drivers Sarah Moore and Jessica Hawkins had the below to say:
“This will be the biggest race of my career so far. To come away from the first two rounds of the season in Austria and be second in the championship means there is more pressure on me now, and that will go up another notch in front of my home crowd. But my approach will be the same – I went to Austria with a cool head which helped me stay relaxed before the races and I’ll need that at Silverstone as it will be such a big occasion. Mentally and physically I’m in a much better place than I was in 2019 and I hope that pays off again this week and gives me another good result to keep me in the hunt.”
– Sarah Moore
“I got my first experience in a Formula 1 car at Silverstone a few years ago when I drove some high-speed demonstration laps at the Silverstone Classic in a 2011 Sauber C30. I hadn’t been in a single-seater since driving a couple of British Formula 4 rounds in 2015. It was an awesome experience and completely blew my mind. This week I will be pinching myself when I return to Silverstone with W Series and so many people are watching us. I have been lucky enough to do some really cool things in my career but supporting the British Grand Prix might top the lot and I’ll be giving it my all.”
– Jessica Hawkins
Can Beitske Bounce Back?
It hasn’t been a strong start for Beitske Visser so far in 2021. The 2019 runner-up has so far not scored a single point and will be looking to keep those kinds of results firmly in the past. Can it be third time lucky for her then this time out?
We know she’s got the speed and skill behind the wheel. So maybe she was playing the long game and getting all of her bad luck out of the way early this season. That being said, if Visser doesn’t get a solid result this weekend, her 2021 Championship hopes may already be over.
More Super Sidorkova?
The surprise standout star of W Series so far in 2021 is rookie Irina Sidorkova. The eighth place in her debut race was swiftly followed up by an impressive second place in Austria. Now that W Series has moved to a new track for the first time in 2021, it will be fascinating to see how the young Russian comes to grips with the circuit.
One also has to wonder how much advice her new W Series BFF Emma Kimilainen is giving her or if she’s decided to give her some tough luck and let her find out the secrets to racing successfully herself. Either way, everyone here at GP Grandstand is looking forward to some more great interactions between the dynamic duo both on and off track.
Redemption for the Rest?
Ahead of Silverstone, Marta Garcia, Sabre Cook, Vicky Piria, Jessica Hawkins and the aforementioned Visser don’t have any Championship points. Given that each one of them drove for W Series back in 2019, this fact is perhaps a little surprising. But anything can happen in W Series.
So maybe this famous five will get a reversal on their unfortunate fortunes of late and score big this time out. Garcia and Visser are the ones that perhaps have the most leniency but that won’t bring them much comfort. As for the rest, if they don’t pick up some points this weekend, their 2022 future in W Series may be in doubt.
W Series British Grand Prix Track Times
You will find the W Series drivers on track for practice on Friday 16 July between 11.00 to 11.30 BST and in qualifying from 16.05 to 16.35 also on Friday
The W Series race at Silverstone will start at 13.25 BST on Saturday 17 July, ahead of F1’s Sprint Race.