The increasingly popular all-female W Series championship is currently facing worrying financial concerns, with recent reports suggesting that the championship might be unable to complete the 2022 season.
The series is currently coming towards the end of its third season, with British driver Jamie Chadwick set to claim her third consecutive title in the series, should she taste victory once again at this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.
Chadwick has recently been in America testing an IndyLights, car as she looks to make her next step either in America or in Formula 3.
She’ll most likely be hoping to use the $500,000 prize for winning the championship to fund a season in another series; however, the financial stability of the series has been thrown into doubt, according to Telegraph Sport.
It’s been reported by the Telegraph that the championship might fail to complete the current season, due to “significant” financial issues.
The series supposedly owes large sums to a number of creditors, with the category’s net liabilities currently standing at over £7.5 million, as of 5th September.
Broadcast production company Whisper, who are one of the series’ biggest creditors, have reportedly not sent any crew to Singapore this weekend, with the entire production set to be conducted at the company’s gallery in Ealing.
“As per last season and this season, our broadcast is transmitted live from the Whisper gallery in Ealing, which will also be the case this weekend in Singapore,” said series founder Catherine Bond Muir.
W Series are trying everything to raise immediate funds, following a late breakdown with an American investor over a multi-million pound-deal.
Velocity Experience, who are responsible for W Series’ hospitality packages, are another company rumoured to be owed a significant amount.
Independent contractors are also reportedly yet to have their invoices paid, with some dating back to months ago.
The pandemic has played an instrumental role in the series’ financial problems, something which comes as a huge shame given how vital the championship has been at promoting female drivers and giving them a global stage to show their talent.
Muir, a former lawyer and corporate banker, is remaining confident that all will be okay for the series, after having to “fight from day one”.
“We’re having lots of conversations at the moment and I’m very optimistic,” said Bond Muir on Wednesday night.
“We’ve had to fight from day one. It has always been a struggle but we’re fighters.”
A number of factors have piled on the pressure for companies across the world, especially those based in the United Kingdom.
Following the release of the Chancellor’s ‘mini-budget’, the Great British pound depleted to its lowest value ever in comparison to the dollar, with it having dropped to $1.03 to the pound following the announcement.
Whilst it has recovered to $1.09 to the pound, there is still much uncertainty facing the currency.
Muir failed to answer if the season would go to the final two races in America and Mexico, or if the drivers would even get paid.
“We’re looking at our budgets,” Bond Muir said.
“We’re confident that we’ll continue to raise money.
“You have to understand W Series is a brand new sport. Tennis has equality now because Billie-Jean King fought for those rights 50 years ago. Football is slowly starting to become more equal. Rugby?
“We saw recently that England’s women flew economy to the World Cup where their male counterparts flew business. It takes time. We’re only in our third season. But we have had a huge impact already and we are a force for good.”