W Series racers have been briefed about the all-female championship’s financial difficulties amid concerns that this weekend’s Singapore round could be the last, double champion Jamie Chadwick said on Thursday.
The series, which was set up in 2019 with the aim of helping women get into Formula 1, had net liabilities of 7.5 million pounds ($8.29 million) at the end of 2021, according to accounts filed with Companies House on Sept. 5.
Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported that the cash crunch had left the series owing “significant sums” to contractors.
“When we were all briefed about the situation, it´s really cool to see how much the series means to everyone,” championship leader Chadwick, who could wrap up her third straight title at the Marina Bay track, told reporters.
“It´s been a huge opportunity for all of us and I think there´s a bit of emotion that comes with that and all of us obviously don´t want to see it go,” added the Briton. “In that sense we all want to fight as much as we can to help and support the series in the right way.”
W Series is in its third season and visiting Asia for the first time. It has two more rounds scheduled in Austin and Mexico as support events to Formula 1 next month.
The series’ founder is optimistic
Series founder Catherine Bond Muir told the Telegraph that the championship was having “lots of conversations” and expressed optimism it would survive.
She did not offer guarantees it would see out this season, however, or that it would pay out all of its prize money. The free-to-enter championship offers a total prize pot of $1.5 million.
Chadwick, as champion, would stand to earn $500,000 which would form a crucial part of the budget to fund her next step up the ladder.
“Hopefully, if I win the championship, that should give other opportunities as well, (rather than) just being fully reliant on the W Series,” said the 24-year-old, who tested an Indy Lights car with Andretti Autosport at Sebring in Florida this month.