W Series reached it’s halfway mark this weekend in Budapest for the 2021 season. As will all great motor racing, it came with domination, upsets and excellent drives. Let’s take a look at what the key takeaways from Budapest are…
Once again, British driver Jamie Chadwick proved why she’s the one to beat in 2021. There was nothing about this weekend that she didn’t dominate. Chadwick was fastest in practice and took pole position by putting in blindingly fast lap time after blindingly fast lap time.
Chadwick then went on to win the race in what seemed from the outside to be relative ease. Whilst Alice Powell did come home in second and is her main championship rival, Jamie just didn’t put a foot wrong this weekend and will be glad to go into the summer break on top. Surely if this performance continues, we’ll see Chadwick progress into at least Formula 2 for 2022, won’t we?
“I’m super happy with today and really excited for the second half of the season.” – Jamie Chadwick
Nerea Marti put on an inspired performance in Hungary. Following a decent practice session, she qualified in third place for the race with a sensational qualifying lap. From there, she retained third place in the race and claimed her first podium of the year.
It’s great to see this level of improvement from the rookie driver, especially when she’s comfortably beaten more experienced drivers than herself consistently all weekend long. Marti too will go into the summer break with a spring in her step.
“I’m super happy with my first W Series podium as I have worked really hard for it and now I have to push for more as I feel like I am improving all the time.” – Nerea Marti
Talking of rookie drivers, that Ira Sidorkova is quite good, isn’t she? After a disappointing time in Silverstone, the Russian driver dusted herself down and got back in the game this weekend. Qualifying in fifth, she overtook Visser for fourth in the race and kept her at bay for the duration.
With Visser having been a contender in 2019, it was surprising to see her not get past Sidorkova but is also a testament to what a talent Sidorkova is proving to be behind the wheel. She sits just three points away from third place in the Driver’s Standings.
Marta Garcia finally had a good weekend in W Series in Hungary. The Spaniard had a very strong practice session where she finished in fourth before qualifying in a respectable seventh place. Whilst she couldn’t progress any further up the field in the race, it was a solid result for her that she really needed.
Hopefully, this will be the spark that sets her on her way for the rest of the season where she can bounce back and be the driver we all know she can be.
Belen Garcia also had a decent weekend as she qualified in ninth and finished in eighth. After some bad luck at previous rounds, Budapest needed to go her way. Luckily for her, it did a bit and like Marta, this should hopefully serve as some nice momentum to carry her forwards into the second half of the season.
Woe for Wohlwend and Moore
It was a weekend to forget for Sarah Moore and Fabienne Wohlwend. They qualified sixteenth and thirteenth respectively with Wohlwend then retiring from the race. Moore didn’t fare much better as she only finished in 15th.
It was a surprising change of events for both drivers as both have gone really well so far this year. Wohlwend was even a favourite for the win coming into the weekend so this will be a bitter pill for her to swallow.
Still, Moore and Wohlwend have proven themselves to be great drivers so far this year so neither one should worry too much. If however, you’re Sabre Cook or Miki Koyama, you might want to start worrying a bit as time is running out for those on the W Series grid who haven’t performed so far this year and desperately need to turn things around when W Series returns.
Thoughts from Jacob Phillips
Look up dominance in the dictionary and you’ll find Jamie Chadwick. She led every session in Hungary, securing an impressive victory, crossing the line 10 seconds ahead of title rival Alice Powell.
Whilst the two Brits dominated out in front, it was nice to see Nerea Marti pick up her first podium. Aside from a little bit of contact at the rear of the field, the race was fairly uneventful.
Fabienne Wohlwend would have hoped to continue her decent start to the season but ended up as the only driver to retire from the race. Despite W series in 2021 lacking that little something, the one-point gap at the top means the season half of the season should be spicy.