Jamie Chadwick (Veloce Racing, GBR) beat her W Series title rival Alice Powell (Racing X, GBR) to win the fourth race of the 2021 season in Hungary and regain the championship lead. The 23-year-old made a perfect start from pole position and led all the way to the chequered flag to beat Alice by more than 10 seconds and complete a perfect weekend at the Hungaroring where she topped all three sessions. Jamie's second victory of the campaign takes her one point clear of Alice with half of the season's eight races remaining. After a four-week break, Jamie's bid to defend her W Series title will continue at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, on 28 August.
Nerea Martí (W Series Academy Team, ESP) finished on the podium for the first time in her W Series career and, in the process, moved into third place in the championship having improved her result at every round so far. The 19-year-old was followed home by her team-mate and fellow rookie Irina Sidorkova (W Series Academy Team, RUS) in fourth after the 18-year-old passed Beitske Visser (M. Forbes Motorsport, NED) at the start. Emma Kimiläinen (Ecurie W, FIN) overtook Marta Garcia (PUMA W Series Team, ESP) in the closing stages to finish sixth, as Belen Garcia (Scuderia W, ESP), Bruna Tomaselli (Veloce Racing, BRA) and Jessica Hawkins (Racing X, GBR) completed the top 10.
Jamie dominated Friday's running, topping both the practice and qualifying sessions as she beat Alice to pole position. With overtaking notoriously difficult at the Hungaroring, the opening exchanges would be crucial. After a 10-minute delay to the start of the race due to a red flag during qualifying for Formula 1's Hungarian Grand Prix, Jamie got off to a flyer and led Alice by more than one second at the end of lap one. Irina overtook Beitske for fourth at the opening corner where Fabienne Wohlwend (Bunker Racing, LIE) lost her front wing after contact and was forced to pit, relegating her to the back of the field.
A series of fastest laps saw Jamie double her advantage over Alice to more than two seconds after a third of the 30-minute plus one lap race. Sabré Cook (Bunker Racing, USA) had made up five places – going from 18th to 13th by the halfway stage but, suffering with an issue with her mirrors, she lost a place to Miki Koyama (Sirin Racing, JPN). Fabienne retired from the race with 12 minutes to go and Jamie held a 4.5-second lead over Alice as the race entered the final third.
Miki overtook Abbie Eaton (Ecurie W, GBR) for 12th position with less than five minutes on the clock after a prolonged battle during which the pair made contact on the run to turn three, and that incident was being investigated after the race. With three minutes left, an error by Marta at turn 11 put her under pressure from Emma who took sixth place two corners later, and that pair were under investigation by the stewards also.
With the track temperature at more than 50 degrees Celsius, tyre management was a concern in the closing stages. But Jamie was relentless at the front as she continued to set fastest laps and coolly took the fourth victory of her W Series career.
Jamie Chadwick, 23, UK, Veloce Racing, said:
"I said before the race that it was all going to be about the start so, after getting off the line really well, I could relax after turn one as I knew I had plenty of pace if I was ahead. From there I could settle in and enjoy it as there were no safety car periods and I was able to just bring it home in first which was the aim coming into the weekend. This year, it's difficult to be as consistent throughout the weekend with so many great drivers on the grid and the races coming thick and fast, so you have to be able to bounce back quickly from disappointment. That's the nature of this championship and when you have the chance to score big points you have to take it, so I'm super happy with today and really excited for the second half of the season."
Alice Powell, 28, UK, Racing X, said:
"My start wasn't great and, although I kept Jamie [Chadwick] honest for a while, she had the legs on me today. It was good to come home with some good points as the car was quite a handful at the end, but hopefully that will all be sorted for the next race at Spa. We didn't do any racing last year, so to come back and be fighting at the sharp end of the field is great. There's a bit of a break now and I'll come back stronger in the second half of the year."
Nerea Martí, 19, Spain, W Series Academy Team, said:
"I'm super happy with my first W Series podium as I have worked really hard for it and now I have to push for more as I feel like I am improving all the time. I haven't driven here before, but I've really enjoyed this weekend as the track has suited my driving style. The race was fun – I managed to keep Irina [Sidorkova] and Beitske [Visser] behind me at the start and could just control my pace from there."
Provisional race results and championship standings after round four of the 2021 W Series season are below. For full W Series results and session timings from the Hungaroring visit https://wseries.com/races/hungary-round-4/.