Jamie Chadwick, a 21-year-old from England, has taken yet another step in the pursuit of her goal to break into Formula 1 as she becomes a development driver for the Williams team.
Who is Jamie Chadwick?
The young driver from Bath has now emerged as a likely contender to end the 43-year wait in Formula 1 for a female driver by currently leading the W Series after wins in the MRF Winter Series and Formula 3.
As a development driver, she will join the Williams driver academy and face tests in the simulator while learning what it takes to make it to the pinnacle of motorsport.
Ms Chadwick explained that she feels a great honor in entering the Williams Racing Driver Academy, and she believes that time spent in the Formula 1 simulator is a great opportunity to boost her development as a driver.
Past Female Formula 1 Drivers
Jamie Chadwick, however, is not the first female driver that Williams has had on its team. Previously, Susie Wolff, a Scottish driver, was signed to a development contract from 2012 and became the first woman driver to be involved in a Formula One race session. She took part at the first practice race in the 2014 British Grand Prix, but her car suffered an initial mechanical problem, which set her back. She took part in four Formula 1 practice sessions with Williams between 2014 and 2015.
The last woman Formula 1 driver to attempt qualifying for the championship was Giovanna Amati in 1992, with the last female to start a Grand Prix and actually score half a point being Lella Lombardi during the 1979 Formula 1 World Championship.
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Claire Williams, the deputy team principal at Williams, stated that promoting women in Formula 1 and motorsport is crucial. She hopes that the positioning of a female role model as a part of the Driver Academy at the team will encourage more young girls to begin racing, and the sport will be perceived as exciting and inclusive whether they choose driving or engineering.