Champion of 2020 W Series will not be allowed to defend title after rules change

2019 Champion Chadwick will return next year but she is the only driver who will get the chance to defend her title (PA Images)
12:42pm, Wed 30 Oct 2019
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The champion of the 2020 edition of motor-sport's W Series will not be eligible to return to defend their title due to the series' introduction of FIA Superlicence points.

This criteria will not affect 2019 Champion, Britain's Jamie Chadwick, as her title came before the series gained its current FIA recognition. The 21-year-old will return to the series but has already said that 2020 will be her last year in the all-female Championship as she sets her sights on the bigger stage.

“One of the criteria attached to [superlicence eligibility] is that the winning driver of the W Series championship may not compete in consecutive W Series championships – and that restriction will apply going forward,” said W Series racing director Dave Ryan.

“That didn’t apply to the 2019 W Series champion since no FIA superlicence points were awarded in respect of the 2019 W Series championship, but it does mean that whoever is champion in 2020 will not be permitted to take part in the 2021 championship, and so on.

“We haven’t yet discussed exactly how we’ll decide the entry criteria of the 2021 W Series championship, but I’ll say two things now. Our 2020 champion won’t be competing in it, and we’ll surely include in it a mix of our best drivers from the 2020 season plus the best of a new group of drivers whom we’ll select using a method or methods that we haven’t yet worked out.”

The ruling change has sparked a lot of discussion on social media with arguments that a champion should be allowed to defend their title but conversely that the series is ultimately a feeder competition as a step to the next level and ultimately a spot on the starting grid in Formula 1.