W Series: Chadwick seals second title with crushing win in COTA finale

Jamie Chadwick completed her W Series title defence by dominating the final race at Circuit of the Americas, converting pole position into victory while her title rival Alice Powell was stuck in the midfield.

Chadwick got a near-perfect launch from pole to see off any challenge from Abbi Pulling on the front row. Pulling slotted into second place, while Beitske Visser jumped Sarah Moore for third, Emma Kimilainen went from sixth to fourth, and Powell overtook Jess Hawkins to take seventh.

Visser had to take a defensive line into the first corner to see off Kimilainen, who was just too far back to make it three places gained at the start. But Kimilainen kept up the offensive through the opening lap and within a few corners had taken third place from Visser.

By the end of the first lap Chadwick had already pulled out a second in hand over Pulling, who was struggling to get clear of Kimilainen. The Finn lapped within a few tenths of Pulling in the early laps, but Pulling eventually settled into the groove and started to inch clear instead.

As Chadwick kept opening up her lead at the front, Powell was running in seventh behind Belen Garcia and unable to find any way past the Scuderia W car. To deny Chadwick the title Powell needed to outscore her by 10 points, but by lap 7 there were already 12 seconds separating the two of them on track.

 

After running three tenths behind Garcia, Powell saw an opportunity to take sixth place at the start of lap 9 but braked too late into Turn 1 and let Garcia back through. She tried the same inside move at the start of the following lap, but was too far back to pull alongside Garcia.

Powell eventually got the move done on lap 12 by taking an aggressive entry to Turn 1 and squeezing Garcia to the edge of the track. But by this point there were only five minutes left on the clock, and Chadwick was almost five seconds ahead of Pulling and the rest of the field up front.

Chadwick eventually crossed the line with that five second gap to take the title. Pulling claimed her first W Series podium in second, which left her with enough points to earn eighth in the standings and a guaranteed place in the 2022 championship. Kimilainen finished third, where she also ended in the standings.

Moore recovered after dropping back at the start to take fourth place ahead of Visser and Powell, and Belen Garcia finished seventh. Sabré Cook had been running in eighth place and was on course for her first points of the season, until she came together with Jess Hawkins with six minutes to go. That allowed Nerea Marti, Ayla Agren and Caitlin Wood through to take the final three points positions.

Chadwick, Powell and Kimilainen end the season as the top three in the standings. Marti was fourth in her rookie season, and Moore, Fabienne Wohlwend, Pulling and Visser have secured places on next year’s grid by completing the top eight in the championship.

The decade that was: F1 in the 2010s

A lot can change in a decade. This time ten years ago, Jenson Button and Brawn were the reigning F1 champions, Fernando Alonso was preparing to take on the mantle of Ferrari’s title hopes, and a 12-year-old Max Verstappen was just about to step up to international karting.

As we approach the start of another new year and a new decade, we’ve taken a look back at what’s characterised F1 throughout the 2010s and how these last ten years might be remembered.

Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

The decade of dominance

Let’s deal with the elephant in the room first. When people look back on F1 in the 2010s, they will see one headline figure: that Red Bull and Mercedes cleaned up every available title between them, and won 149 out of the decade’s 198 races. It’s the first time in F1’s history that two teams have had such a stranglehold on the sport—and hopefully the last.

Mark Thompson, Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

The decade of record-breaking

Sebastian Vettel, the youngest-ever World Champion. Lewis Hamilton, the most pole positions. Max Verstappen, the youngest-ever Grand Prix entrant and winner. Kimi Raikkonen, the fastest-ever F1 lap. Mercedes, the most consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships. The 2010s weren’t just about dominance, they were about excellence.

Mercedes AMG

The decade of comebacks

When Michael Schumacher came out of retirement to lead Mercedes in 2010, he probably had no idea he’d started a trend. Before long, Kimi Raikkonen was back in F1 with Lotus, Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan were brought out of the noughties, and Brendon Hartley, Daniil Kvyat and Alex Albon were all given second chances by Red Bull after being dropped from the junior team.

But of course, the biggest comebacks of all have to be Felipe Massa returning after being placed in an induced coma in 2009, and Robert Kubica stepping back into an F1 cockpit this year for the first time since his 2011 rally accident.

Pirelli F1 Media

The decade of rules changes

Fans of F1’s rulebook were treated to an absolute feast over the last ten seasons. After 2009’s massive aerodynamics shift, the tweaks, refinements and total overhauls kept on coming. DRS, stepped noses, the halo. V6 turbos, the virtual safety car, and the fastest lap point. And of course, knockout qualifying and 2014’s double points finale. Not all of them were popular, but they’ve certainly kept us on our toes over the years.

Foto Studio Colombo / Pirelli F1 Media

The decade of silly season

Lewis Hamilton leaving McLaren for Mercedes. Kimi Raikkonen returning to Ferrari, then to Sauber. Sebastian Vettel leaving Red Bull for Ferrari. Fernando Alonso rejoining McLaren. Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement. Red Bull’s midseason merry-go-rounds. F1’s driver market has never been tame, but the 2010s really set it alight.

Mark Sutton, LAT Images / Haas F1 Media

The decade F1 returned to the US

F1 has spent a lot of time since the disastrous 2005 US Grand Prix at Indianapolis trying to repair its relationship with the States. Things started going in the right direction with the return of the US Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas and Alexander Rossi’s brief F1 appearances with Manor in 2015. But now with Haas on the grid and Liberty Media in charge of the sport itself, F1’s standing in the US finally looks to be on the mend.

Foto Studio Colombo / Ferrari Media

The decade of farewells to old friends

Rubens Barrichello. Michael Schumacher. Mark Webber. Jenson Button. Nico Rosberg. Felipe Massa. Fernando Alonso. Robert Kubica. So many key figures of F1’s recent past hung up their helmets over the last ten years. Thank goodness we still have Kimi Raikkonen for another year at least.

What’s been your favourite moment from the last ten years of Formula One? Let us know in the comments below.