Formula 1's New Series For Women Will Only Have One Live Broadcast
When F1 Academy was announced in November, the claim was that it would produce a spec Formula 4-based series that would help bring young women into the existing open wheel ladder in the hopes of helping them eventually reach Formula 1 itself. Despite that promise, reports today indicate that the series will not broadcast most of its races live.
According to The Race, just one of F1 Academy's seven rounds in its debut season will be broadcast live. This follows with F1's decision to pair F1 Academy with other series for those first six rounds, not joining Formula 1 on track until the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas. That race will be broadcast live, but "technical and financial demands" will keep round-by-round coverage of the series restricted largely to delayed highlights.
The choice is another disappointment in the saga of F1's attempt to create opportunities for women on its ladder. The short-lived W Series seemed like a natural way to create opportunities for young drivers when it was announced as a companion to Formula 1 for the 2021 season, but that series was canceled mid-season last year due to financial constraints. Despite its status as a Formula 1 support series, the champion of all three W Series seasons was never given an opportunity to graduate into either the Formula 3 or Formula 2 feeder categories. That driver, Jamie Chadwick, instead joined Andretti Autosport in the American open wheel ladder for the 2023 Indy NXT season.
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