It’s been more than four decades since a woman took part in a Formula 1 race but this weekend, eighteen fearless females will kickstart the inaugural W Series with the aim of breaking the male monopoly of motorsport.
The W Series starts its historic season in Germany this weekend as the first all-female racing series gears up for its opening race.
A brainchild of a number of experts in motorsport, the W Series has the backing of prominent people within the industry, including David Coulthard and Adrian Newey.
More than 100 drivers applied for a seat in the W Series but, after an intense programme, the pool was whittled down to 18 women who will line up in Hockenheim for the first time this weekend.
Representing 13 nationalities, the diverse and exciting grid is awash with talent and the six-race series is set to be tantalisingly close.
There’s five Brits on the grid, including Jamie Chadwick, who was the youngest driver and first ever woman to win a British GT Championship in 2015 and last year became the first female to win a British Formula 3 race.
Fellow Brit Jessica Hawkins will be swapping her stunt car for a seat in a W Series car as the 24-year-old has previously been a stunt driver in the Fast and Furious Live shows.
Japanese prospect Miki Koyama is joining the W Series with a reputation as a serial winner having won the Kyojo Ladies Championship three years in a row despite being just 21.
Oxford-born Alice Powell might be a familiar face to fans of FIA Formula 3 Championship as, when it was the GP3 series, she was the first woman to score points in the series.
Another talent in the line-up is British racer Sarah Moore who won the Britcar Endurance Championship in 2018 and Italian Vicky Piria who has previously raced in the GP3 series.
With such a raft of experience in a variety of different series, the W Series is poised to be a thrilling one and the winner will receive $500,000 in prize money.
The series will be part of the support to the German Touring Car (DTM) Championship and Friday will see the drivers practice before qualifying and the race on Saturday.
Media interest has been vast, with Channel 4 already buying the rights to the show, and announcing a stellar line-up to front its coverage with David Coulthard and Ted Kravitz part of their package.
Brands Hatch will host the finale of the series in August with the women travelling the globe to race against each other six times in a bid to win the first ever W Series.
There’s been more men on the moon than women in Formula One and, despite it being 44 years since Italian driver Lella Lombardi was the last female to start a grand prix, these 18 women are out to prove it won’t be another 44 years before we see the next.