Jamie Chadwick moves step closer to F1 drive by joining Williams academy

By Ian Parker, Press Association Sport
The 21-year-old leads the inaugural W Series.

Jamie Chadwick has taken another step towards her goal of breaking into Formula One as she joins Williams as a development driver.

The 21-year-old has emerged as the most likely candidate to end what is now a 43-year wait for a female driver in F1 as she has followed up successes in Formula 3 and the MRF Winter Series by leading the W Series.

That has earned her a chance with Williams, where she will join the academy and get to test herself in the simulator and learn from the inside what is needed to make it at the highest level.

“It is a great honour to be joining the Williams Racing Driver Academy,” Chadwick said. “The time in the simulator is a fantastic opportunity to aid with my development.

“I look forward to spending time in the factory at Grove, immersing myself within the team and assisting wherever I can.

“Being a part of the Driver Academy is an amazing platform and I’m excited to get started.”

Williams previously signed Susie Wolff to a development contract in 2012, and the Scot became the first woman to be involved in an F1 race weekend when she took part in the first practice at the British Grand Prix in 2014, only to suffer an early mechanical problem.

Deputy team principal Claire Williams said: “Promoting women in motorsport is extremely important and having a female role model as part of our Driver Academy will hopefully inspire young girls to take up racing at a young age.

“We hope to show that motorsport is inclusive and exciting, be that as a driver or on the engineering side. Jamie is a great talent and I look forward to working with her.”