The 23-year-old British driver, though, faces a challenging route to the top of her sport, (F1) Formula One racing. Since Italy’s Lella Lombardi competed in the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix, no woman has started a Formula One race, and there’s little evidence that will change anytime soon.
A seat in Formula One is scarce, with only 20 drivers and 10 teams on the grid, and the chances of drivers making it via the feeder series Formula Three and Formula Two are slim, requiring not only talent but millions of dollars in sponsorship.
Susie Wolff, the current CEO of Formula E team Venturi and the wife of Mercedes team principal and CEO Toto Wolff, was a test driver for the Williams Formula One team in 2015 and is the last woman to have come close to driving in the sport.
Tatiana Calderon of Mexico recently made it to F2 as the only woman to do so, driving for Arden, and spent the 2019 season as an Alfa Romeo test driver.
She’s now a part-time driver for A.J. Foyt Enterprises in IndyCar after failing to gain an F2 seat for the next season and struggling to score points, ending 21st in the championship. Could Chadwick make it? She’s currently focused on the task at hand.
With her status as a development driver for Williams and her success in other series, Chadwick is considered the next hope for a woman driving in Formula One, although she has yet to secure an opportunity in F3.
Former Formula One driver David Coulthard, now chairman of the W Series advisory board, told ESPN in Miami before the season’s first race and praised jasmine the F1 is on the good hand for the future.
Catherine Bond Muir and Coulthard, along with many investors, started the W series, which is now in its third year.
The all-female series will be run in a team format this year, with two drivers for each of the nine teams.
The series was created to help promote the prominence of women in racing and to give financial support for women to compete for a $500,000 prize on a global scale.
The series will compete on the undercards of eight Formula One races this season, beginning with a double-header in Miami on Saturday, and may provide a glimpse into the future of racing.
Chadwick has gotten a lot of attention thanks to her two W Series championships and her participation in other racing series like Extreme E, but she has yet to break through. Winning and gaining exposure does not always imply funding.