W Series Spotlight - Jamie Chadwick
Already an established contender and Champion, she's only just getting started.
This week's piece takes a look at one of Brazil's best drivers. He's also quite a nice chap.
Born in Bath, Somerset, England on 20th May, 1998, Jamie Chadwick initially grew up on the Isle of Man before moving to Gloucestershire, where she attended Cheltenham College. Today, she lives near Tetbury, England. Ten years ago, when she was eleven years old, Jamie began karting. After achieving multiple podiums, Jamie was awarded with a Ginetta Junior Scholarship in 2012, aimed with helping her career as she went racing in 2013. Jamie subsequently competed in the 2013 Ginetta Junior Championship, finishing the year in tenth place and went on to compete in the category again in 2014. This time around, she improved up to eighth place by the end of the season with five podium finishes to her name.
2015 was a massive year for Jamie as she stepped up to the British GT Championship, driving an Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4 with Beechdean Motorsport. With six wins and five podiums to her name, Jamie - alongside teammate Ross Gunn - won the British GT Championship GT4. In doing so, she became both the youngest and first female driver to win the British GT4 Championship. As a result, she was selected to be part of the Aston Martin Racing Driver Evolution Academy and invited by the British Racing Drivers’ Club to become a ‘Rising Star’.
Jamie racing at Misano in 2019.
2016 was a tricky year for her as Jamie balanced racing with finishing her A-levels at Cheltenham College. Despite this, she still found time to compete in five rounds of the British GT Championship in Pro Am alongside Paul Hollywood (yes the guy from 'The Great British Bake Off'). She finished fifteenth overall. But her relationship with Aston Martin enabled her to obtain her Nordschleife Race Permit, competing in three VLN races at the challenging Nürburgring circuit.
With her studies out of the way, Jamie graduated into single seat racing for 2017. She joined the Double R Racing team and began competing in British Formula 3. In her first race for them at Rockingham, she finished on the podium - ending her rookie year in ninth place with a whopping 264 points. For 2018, Jamie joined Douglas Motorsport and competed for a second season in the British Formula 3 Championship. She got two podiums that year which included an awesome first win for her at Brands Hatch, becoming the first female racer ever to do so.
Also in 2018, Jamie joined the MRF Winter Series. She raced in Dubai, Bahrain and Madras, winning six races and then claiming the Championship at the end of the season in January 2019 by a very comfortable thirty six points ahead of second place driver Max Defourny. Later on in 2019, she debuted in the first season of W Series (an all female racing category) which consisted of six races.
At the first round in Hockenheim, Jamie started as she intended to go on and won the race. At the next round, held in Zolder, she finished in second place behind Beitske Visser. She was back on form for round three in Misano which she also won. It would be her second and final victory that season however. Two third places came in the next two rounds at Norisring and Assen with Marta Garcia and Emma Kimiläinen winning those races respectively. It was fellow British driver and occasional Formula 2/Formula 3 Commentator Alice Powell who won the final round of W Series held at Brands Hatch but fourth place was enough for Jamie to win the first season of W Series by ten Championship points, ahead of Beitske Visser in second.
Taking notice of the rising talent, the Williams Formula 1 team signed Jamie as one of their test drivers for 2019 and she remains as one of their test/development drivers this season. Later on in 2019, Jamie raced for the first three rounds of the Formula 3 Asian Championship in Sepang with a highest finishing position of fifth. Even though she only raced in those three rounds, she beat eight other drivers in the standings that year, having amassed eighteen points over her brief time there. What's more, Jamie was class co-winner of the annual ADAC Total Nurburgring 24 Hour Race with Aston Martin Racing in 2019 - quite the busy year for her and littered with success.
For the 2019/2020 Formula 3 Asian Championship, Jamie joined Absolute Racing. Over the course of the season, she managed a best finish of second place at the Buriram International Circuit in Thailand. Not retiring from any of the races and consistently finishing in the points, Jamie finished the season in fourth place.
In 2020, Jamie is currently competing in the Formula 3 Regional European Championship, driving for PREMA Powerteam. At the first race in Misano, she finished in third place - her only podium finish this season so far. Jamie currently sits in seventh place in the Championship. But with six rounds left this season (and three races within each of those rounds), there's still an awful lot to play for.
By competing and doing well in this Championship, Jamie hopes to gather some more much needed Super Licence Points to enable her to get closer to competing in Formula 1. She currently has ten and needs forty in total to make her dreams a reality.
“The ultimate goal is to keep performing and doing the best job I can, but obviously knowing there is the chance to get Super Licence points for some practice sessions for F1 next year is a big incentive.” - Jamie Chadwick.
The W Series Champion is one step closer to getting a seat in Formula One.
As she has a good relationship currently with Williams, it is hoped that she can get some Formula 1 practice sessions under her belt next year. Those sessions, combined with whatever racing she does in 2021 means she could well be on track for a seat in Formula 1 for the 2022 season. If she did make it onto the grid for 2022, she would be making history once again. Here's hoping that she - and Formula 1 - can make this happen. It would be truly epic to see.
What do you think of Jamie? Is she a future star of Formula 1? Let me know in the comments below.