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W Series cancels 2020 season, defers to 2021

by Josh Suttill

Photo: W Series

W Series has cancelled its 2020 season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and its second season will now start in 2021.?

The season was initially set to take place over eight rounds, starting on May 30 as a DTM support at Igora Drive in Russia, with two Formula 1 support slots later in the season at the United States and Mexico City Grands Prix.?

The first six rounds of the season would have supported the DTM,?which released its 2020 calendar on Wednesday,?with W Series initially stating it was ?reviewing its options’ with regards to its 2020 schedule.?

On Thursday, it issued a statement revealing it had chosen to cancel its 2020 season, but it will resume in 2021 with at least two F1-supporting rounds.?

“After the resounding success of W Series? debut season in 2019, our decision not to stage on-track races until 2021 is not one that has been taken lightly,” W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir said.?

“However, we are already working on an exciting new W Series race calendar for 2021, and we are delighted to be able to confirm that W Series races will feature on the support cards of a number of F1 grands prix next year, including the 2021 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas and the 2021 Mexican Grand Prix at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

“Delivering an international calendar of the kind that W Series requires, so as to take W Series? diversity and inclusion message to girls and women globally, while prioritising during a global pandemic the health and safety of our drivers, our staff and the many other people who make W Series events such a success, requires resource at a level beyond the scope of a brave new start-up such as W Series.

“However, now that we have taken the very difficult but ultimately unavoidable decision to end any uncertainty surrounding our 2020 plans, we will focus our energies clearly on 2021, when we will resume our on-track racing programme, bigger and better than ever before.

“Our brilliant management team ? including 13-time F1 grand prix winner David Coulthard and our hugely experienced racing director Dave Ryan ? will continue to provide our drivers with invaluable career advice and support.”? ?

It’s unclear whether the 18 drivers chosen to race in the 2020 season will all race in the 2021 season.?

F1 boss Ross Brawn expressed his disappointment in W Series’ cancellation but is looking forward to welcoming the series onto the F1 support bill in 2021.?

“W Series has had an incredible impact on the world of motorsport, and we were excited to have them join our schedule this year,” he said.

“It is a big disappointment for all of us that due to the difficulties presented by COVID-19 the events will not take place, but we are looking forward to some exciting racing in 2021 when W Series returns.”

Its new Esports league is unaffected by the announcement and will run on Thursday nights every week from June 11 through to August 13.??