W Series: 5 Takeaways from Hungary

W Series - Alice Powell - Hungary
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The perfect season came to a halt in Hungary as Alice Powell captured her first victory of the W Series season.

After a disappointing home race at Silverstone, Alice Powell put the entire weekend together going from flag to flag to take her first W Series win of the season. Jamie Chadwick’s first (very minor) stumble, Quantfury troubles, and first points. Let’s break down the race in Hungary.

1 – The W Series can breathe

Jamie Chadwick has been (is) a great W Series Champion, but the series needs more drivers and teams winning races to help it grow. Coming into Hungary Chadwick was on seven straight wins – five to open this season and the last two races of last year. The two-time (and only) series Champion was well on her way to an easy third title. But you know that those within the W Series and those looking to keep the momentum building want a title race, someone or multiple drivers to be in contention to win each weekend. Alice Powell’s win is good for the series, especially in these early seasons.

2 – Where will Chadwick go?

While Chadwick will be disappointed in how her weekend in Budapest unfolded, she knows she already has one hand on the trophy. An uncharacteristically poor qualifying effort saw her start the race 5th. But she methodically carved her way through the frontrunners and onto the back of Powell. The perfect season with 10 wins is no longer a possibility. But she keeps her streak of being on the podium every round this season and now has a 75-point lead in the Championship. There are rumors that Williams is interested in funding her ride in F3 next season, as well as interest in joining the American IndyLight series. Either way, she needs to move on next season to test herself beyond the W Series.

3 – Alice Powell’s luck finally lands

After winning three races and finishing second in the standings last season, this is how Powell imagined 2022 would go. But it started with a crash in the opening round in Miami. Then came a stall on the formation lap in her home race at Silverstone. A trip to the pits sent her to the back of the grid, before finishing 14th. That all changed in Hungary. Her first pole of the season, her first win of the season and suddenly she is vaulted back into that familiar top-two spot in the standings. While it’s probably too late for anyone to catch Chadwick this season, this win not only validates Powell’s place in the top-tier in the W Series this year but should keep her as a favorite next year if (when) Jamie moves on.

4 – Nightmare for Quantfury

After a double podium in France, Quantfury maintained its momentum running in the top seven in practice and qualifying. The downfall began even before the safety car left the track with Nerea Marti sliding and losing a position. She continued to slip as the race began, eventually being sent off the circuit for the second time in a collision with her teammate Belen Garcia. While both cars had the pace this weekend, and they did work their way back to 12th and 13th, it was all lost in those opening laps. They now enter the long break with regrets instead of back-to-back positive weekends.

5 – Maiden Points for Noda

And finally, a shoutout for rookie Juju Noda driving for the W Series Academy team. She started the race in 16th and drove up to 9th, avoiding contact on a rough day. Not only was she awarded her first W Series points, but she was selected as the Driver of the Day. That only leaves Tereza Bábíčková as the only driver yet to score points this season.

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