How the Formula One Academy differs from W Series?

F1 Academy logo

With the Formula One Academy season weeks away, there is still some confusion over how it differs from W Series. Let’s analyze.

Following the announcement that the FIA is creating an all-female series known as the Formula One Academy, many fans were confused as to how differed from another all-female series known as the W series that had been in operation since 2019. Let’s analyze the differences.


In November 2017, rumors had already begun circulating about an all-female series, the issue was that there was no clear vision of how it would boost women into the Formula Series. Unlike Formula 2 and 3, the championship winner was able to continue racing for the following season. Since the inaugural season in 2019, there has only been one championship winner – Jamie Chadwick.

In the F1 Academy, it has been made clear that successful drivers within the sport will have the opportunity to progress into Formula 3. They will also be given the chance to learn how to technically, physically, and mentally prepare for races. Although, many of the F1 Academy have driven in W Series such as Bianca Bustamante, Nerea Marti, and Abbi Pulling.


The F1 Academy is funded by the FIA whereas the W Series was funded by several sponsors such as PUMA, Henieken, and Hankook. PUMA and Hankook provided the racewear and tires needed for the championship. Drivers in the F1 Academy will have a budget cap of Є150,000, with F1 contributing Є2.2 million throughout the season. Unfortunately, the 2022 W Series was unable to finish due to a lack of funding. With the FIA controlling the F1 Academy’s funding, it’s unlikely that they will face the same issues that the W Series did.

Teams and cars

W Series had nine teams racing in the series while F1 Academy has five. Crucially, the five teams racing in F1 Academy are all teams that have had success racing in the Formula Series. They are PREMA Powerteam, MP Motorsport, Rodin Carlin, Campos Racing, and ART Grand Prix.

The car that they will use will be the Tatuus F4-T421 which is used in Formula 4 championships. W Series used Tatuus-Alfa Romeo F3 T-318 which is used in the Formula 3 and Formula Regional championships.

These are just some of the reasons why the two differ from each other. With F1 Academy’s pre-season testing set to commence on Tuesday, we will have a first glimpse of the cars in action before the opening race in Austria. Has F1 Academy taken the W Series’ place?