Jamie Chadwick ‘happy to be guinea pig’ for women in Formula One

Jamie Chadwick is off to a hot start in the W Series season. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Jamie Chadwick wants to see women drivers in Formula One, but thinks some changes need to be made in order to get there.

The W Series driver spoke on the idea of joining the international racing circuit, saying that while she thinks that there could be a female racer in “three to four years,” she also understands that some technical changes may need to be made to the cars in order to allow women to compete at that level.

Chadwick has been working with Williams as a development driver, where she has come to understand that technically there are some issues that need to be addressed for a sport that is “extremely physical.”

“There hasn’t been a woman in the recent era that has done it. I am trying to understand whether that is to do with the physical side,” Chadwick told SkySports. “We like to think that women can make it – and I am happy to be the guinea pig and will do my best to push and explore the options to Formula One – but we don’t know.”

The last time a female competitor took the track in F1 was 46 years ago with Italian Lella Lombardi.

Alpine, a F1 constructor team that helps to design the race cars and their parts, recently announced that it would be launching a program to help develop a pathway to getting more women into racing and give them the same opportunities as the men.

Chadwick added that she thinks there needs to be some changes to the size of the steering wheel, the distance to the pedals and the size of cockpit tubs. While Chadwick has been successful in the W Series, she has yet to make the jump to Formula Three – which would be a stepping stone to Formula Two and eventually Formula One.

“I don’t think it is just as straightforward as getting stronger in the gym and jumping in the car,” she said. “A lot of these things have been overlooked for obvious reasons, but now we need to see whether that does make a difference to performance.”