Inaugural W Series champion Jamie Chadwick has secured the backing of New Zealand-based Rodin Cars and a signing with the Italian Prema team for 2020 as she eyes a future seat in Formula 1.
Following the cancellation of the 2020 W Series championship amid the global pandemic, Chadwick appeared to be at a loose end.
However, yesterday the 22-year-old confirmed she has signed with Italian outfit Prema in Regional Formula 3 this year with the aim of rising up to F3 and F2. Moreover, Chadwick secure a substantial financial support package by Rodin Cars to guide her towards a landmark Formula 1 drive.
Nestled away along the inland road to Kaikoura, Rodin Cars aim to produce the world’s fastest commercially available track and are renown for the FZed F1-eqsue machine and F-Zero protoype.
Chadwick spent a period of time earlier in year testing for Rodin, leading Australian owner David Dicker to label her as an “exceptional talent.”
Chadwick, who is also a development driver for the Williams F1 team, said the opportunity has allowed her to embrace with the prospect of becoming the sport’s first female Grand Prix driver since 1976.
“It’s a dream come true, really. If I had a smaller budget I couldn’t race with a top team like Prema and give myself the best chance to perform and justify being in F1,’’ said Chadwick.
Prema are one of the most successful lower formulae teams, and have progressed the careers of several top drivers, including current Ferrari F1 driver Charles Leclerc.
“The scary thing with motorsport is the financial backing required. It’s an insane amount, but it’s so exciting to have been given an opportunity to do it with Prema.
“To drive in Formula 3, for example, you’re looking at double what I got in W Series prize money.”
The Prema team are affiliated with Scuderia Ferrari and was the team Marcus Armstrong competed with in Italian Formula 4, Formula 3 Europe and FIA Formula 3 before making a switch to ART for 2020.
Last year, the team ran FIA Formula 3-bound Frederik Vesti whoc claimed the inaugural FREC title last having won 16 of the 24 races.
“The philosophy here at Rodin Cars is to make exceptional cars, which requires an exceptional team behind it,” said Rodin founder Dicker.
“Jamie is an exceptional racing talent. We are taking a long-term view on this in fully supporting her journey as she moves up the ladder towards F1.”
The eight-round Formula Regional calendar kicks off at the Misano circuit in Italy on August 1-2 before concluding at Vallelunga on 5-6 December.