Formula 1 is desperate to see a female succeed – Jamie Chadwick

W Series champion Jamie Chadwick believes Formula 1 is desperate to see a female driver succeed in the series, but says it'll only happen on merit.

F1 is a male dominated sport, but has had a small handful of female drivers – the last being Lella Lombardi in 1976 – and more recently women such as Susie Wolff, the late María de Villota and Tatiana Calderon have tested F1 cars.

The problem isn't ability, but getting women interested in racing from a young age and then supporting them through junior categories, which is something W Series hopes to achieve.

Chadwick, who earlier this month was crowned champion of the inaugural season, believes a women can be successful in F1 but isn't going to get that opportunity by simply being female.

"The sport’s obviously heavily male dominated but in my view, I don’t think there’s a reason for that," she told TalkSport.

"I think the sport is desperate to see a female succeed. The sport does want a female racing driver but they’ve got to be there on merit.

"Some of the most influential people in motorsport are women. For example, my team boss at Williams is Claire Williams.

“We’re starting to see more and more. It’s a numbers game and we just need more women to rise to the top in all degrees of the sport and hopefully, that will end this male dominance that we’ve got."

Chadwick is also hopeful that her success in W Series will give her some more opportunities with Williams.

"Now I’ve done the job that I needed to this year by securing the W Series Championship, I’m hoping that I can go to them [Williams] with a bit more of an argument to do some more stuff for them next year."