W Series' North American debut hinges on final F1 calendar

Sam Bloxham/Motorsport Images

W Series' North American debut hinges on final F1 calendar

International Racing

W Series' North American debut hinges on final F1 calendar


W Series’ plans to hold its first races in North America in support of the United States Grand Prix and following round in Mexico are up in the air while Formula 1 works to finalize a calendar.

The second W Series was due to conclude with back-to-back supporting races at the F1 rounds in Austin and Mexico City — coming to North America for the first. As in its inaugural season, the majority of its 2020 events are partnered with the German touring car championship (DTM). While there is uncertainty over all racing calendars at this point, W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir says plans to race in America for the first time are partly dependent on any amendments to the dates.

“Yes, we do certainly have flexibility, but I don’t know how big our flex is,” Bond Muir said when asked by RACER if the series can adapt to any F1 calendar changes. “Until I know what the alternatives are…

“Sitting here, we’re looking at the constant changes of calendar. From F1, there have been announcements recently there could be 15-18 races on one hand and then last week Chase Carey said there may not be any races — for very obvious reasons.

“The world of motorsport is still well and truly up in the air. I think if people can go racing then they will, but if it’s not safe then we shouldn’t.”

Bond Muir says it isn’t as simple as ensuring there are no direct date clashes between the DTM and F1 events because W Series needs much more time than F1 to move itself from Europe across to the U.S.

“Obviously we have to have race dates that make sense. We can’t race in Europe and then race in the United States two weeks later. We need to ship things by sea; we don’t have money or finances to go and rent a 747 unfortunately. So it’s the jigsaw of what is possible…