Lewis Hamilton makes female F1 driver demand

The W Series was forced to cancel its last three rounds following a lack of funding.

Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton is undoubtedly doing more than most to try and get more women into motorsport, with the Mercedes driver having demanded for there to be a “more inclusive environment”.

The Brit was a huge supporter of W Series, the all-female championship that ultimately gave women a platform to race alongside F1 at certain venues during the calendar as of late.

Jamie Chadwick has so far claimed all three W Series titles and has recently announced that she’ll be racing in America next season, where she’ll be competing for Andretti Autosport in Indy NXT.

However, the championship has faced some monumental issues, the biggest of the lot being funding, something the drivers also struggle for.

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There continues to be a lack of money and support for females in motorsport from sponsors, something that saw the final three rounds of the 2022 W Series cancelled, due to a lack of funding.

Whilst the series hopes to return in 2023, F1 have decided to create their own female championship, titled F1 Academy.

The series is designed to create a pathway for female drivers, with some Formula 2 and Formula 3 teams to run 15 cars for the championship’s first season.

Hamilton is pleased to see the sport finally doing something but remains frustrated by their approach.

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The 37-year-old wants to see “real research” done to discover why motorsport continues to be dominated by men, with the Brit suggesting that the issue starts with karting.

“I have got to acknowledge something is being done,” Hamilton said.

“But if there was actually real research to find out why there is a small group of women, such a lack of women coming through, having the opportunity, we probably go back to karting, you would find it is not equal in go-karts.

“From my own experience, in the years I raced there were probably only two or three girls in my whole karting career, from eight to 16. There will probably be 40 boys and one girl maybe.

“So you have got to create a more inclusive environment.

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“Inclusivity is an issue all the way down into karting so you can have a bigger pipeline of younger women trying to come through. Then that class will be good.”

Hamilton has pushed for a female driver to make it to F1, something that hasn’t been done since Lella Lombardi at the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix.

She was the last female to actually race in F1, with others since having failed to qualify.