Horner Hints Cost Cap Fines Can ‘Do Some Good’ By Helping Save W Series – WTF1

Horner Hints Cost Cap Fines Can ‘Do Some Good’ By Helping Save W Series

The reaction to Red Bull’s breach of F1’s cost cap is all arguments, division and gloom, right? Well no, not necessarily. Christian Horner highlighted a positive that might come out of this messy situation by hinting that the $7,000,000 Red Bull was fined for its infringement should be used to back the ailing W Series. 

Due to a lack of funding W Series was forced to finish its 2022 season early last month. Motorsport fans cried foul on social media and who could blame them? 

The FIA and many of the teams sitting at motor racing’s top table have more than enough cash to bail the series out, yet a deal couldn’t be reached to do so. What’s more, the FIA is said to be cooking up another all-female series, which, let’s face it, will act as a competitor. 


Horner himself is a long-term fan of the championship saying during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend that “it’d be a massive shame” to lose it, as it remains a “great thing to get girls racing.” 

“It would be hugely disappointing if it were to disappear,” he said. “Hopefully that won’t be the case. I think there’s an awful lot of interest in more diversity, not just within Formula 1 but within motorsport. And I think the W Series has been a really positive advocate of that.”

While being grilled in a cost cap press conference, Horner has now followed this up by calling for the FIA’s Red Bull fine to be put to good use, with causes like saving championships in peril being ideal. 

“It’s an enormous amount of money and obviously it’s down to the FIA what it chooses to do with that money. We just hope it gets put to good use,” Horner hinted.

“Obviously, we see championships that are struggling at the moment and hopefully it can do some good.”

Though Red Bull has made a point of challenging the idea that its overspend amounted to cheating in last year’s championship, the fine it was issued won’t exactly break Red Bull’s bank. 

In fact, Horner has revealed that teams now get so much money from F1 owners Liberty Media just for competing that they’re unlikely to be materially affected by future cost cap fines. 

“The amount of money we will receive from Liberty this year will exceed the cap itself. It’s why the cost cap does need looking at because you have a prize fund exceeding the cap for the first three or four teams,” he said. 

“Even the teams at the back of the grid are probably going to have 70 to 80 percent of their costs covered.”

So what now for W Series? The championship provides a vital platform for young female drivers to display their talent and get a foot on the motorsport ladder. 

At last count, W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir said she was “extremely confident” of making ends meet for a 2023 season, but next year’s championship hasn’t been confirmed.

Should F1 use a small portion of its riches to bail out the W Series?

13 thoughts on “Horner Hints Cost Cap Fines Can ‘Do Some Good’ By Helping Save W Series

  • W Series needs to be given the proper funding and support to continue and thrive. The idea of a competitor would be laughable if it weren’t so plausible that the FIA would give up on a series that they have put so little value in that not only was the end of the season cancelled, but a two time (now three time) champion couldn’t afford to move to F2 or F3. If Jamie Chadwick doesn’t have a spot on the F2 or at least F3 grid next year, it will be an absolute disgrace. Regardless of what happens with these specific 7 million, the FIA has a responsibility to fully support W Series. This would never happen to F4.

    Misogyny and sexism are not just active decisions to exclude women. It includes failing to provide support for women to enter into the ‘boys club.’ It means failing to foster women’s talent to the same degree as men’s. It means Martin Brundle having to awkwardly remind someone (I don’t remember who, but I think it was a former racer) that a circuit that separates the boys from the men also includes women. Despite the fact that there are no women on the grid because women fundamentally do not have the same opportunities as men in this sport. (props to Brundle for doing that btw)

    I want my (eventual, hopefully) daughter to one day be able to see a woman on the grid. That shouldn’t be so difficult an ask. Shame on the FIA for letting W Series fall this year.

    • Sword Starbeta says:

      The FIA doesn’t organise W Series. It’s run by the BRSCC. W Series from what I can tell isn’t really involved with the FIA, outside of superlicense points and PR stuff. They’ve run themselves out of money.
      If the tweet quoted in the article is true, it’s probably for the best that F1 consolidates the current W Series teams into their own feeder structure and have W Series just die off. Since F1 can throw far more money at it than the BRSCC can.

      • I believe the upcoming womens series is of an even lower class than W and is meant to help feed it, not replace. Not sure though, can’t find where I read that.

      • Thanks for the info, I actually didn’t know that. That honestly makes the FIA more frustrating that they didn’t just do this/provide sufficient support in the first place. I think it’d be wrong to let W Series die off, but better to have it be bought out by the FIA and get a revamp. (similar to what you’re suggesting, but in a way that doesn’t make it look like W Series was a flop).

      • ฬ๏ยtєг says:

        They really need to rework it, bring it under the FIA then and have it pretty much on the same level as F3, so the step will be smaller for getting more women into F2 eventually and maybe even into F1.

        • So, I’m not a technical expert by a long shot, but the website says the car is homologated to the latest FIA F3 specs. So, my read on that is that the cars should be equivalent? but its not treated as equivalent. At the very least, some clarity on where W Series is in the ladder would be helpful.

          Still say that Chadwick needs an F2 seat next year, regardless lol

    • ฬ๏ยtєг says:

      They should have also broadcasted the series on F1TV, the same way they also broadcast F2, F3 and the PSC. If they want the series to succeed, they need to use that world wide coverage they already have.

      • I thought I posted this comment, whoops.

        W Series is actually on F1TV! I don’t know if they do it live, since I almost never get to watch live, but I always watch it on F1TV. I’d love for them to add qualifying and practice though. I’m able to catch quali on regular tv.

    • To be honest, I don’t think they need to open a different racing category for women.

      Instead, maybe the FIA could incentivise the hiring of women drivers in junior formulas. Also maybe they could, as a matter of written regulation, force F1 teams to use a portion of their prize money on including women in their junior academies.

      Furthermore, I was reading somewhere that there are several problems in junior formulas that make it difficult for women to race: the lack of power steering for example. It’s important for the FIA to identify and fix these, perhaps by consulting Chadwick and other W series drivers.

      • I agree with you, and also it should be normal to see women in the pit crew and the like. It’s less than 1 in a 100. We’ve only seen few women in strategy or managing position, and I’m sure many have been interested in others but were not considered as seriously.

        There are plenty small F1 drivers managing with the steering. I’m sure most
        pro woman race drivers could handle it given their training regime, but regardless I agree that identifying any difficulties is good.

      • I really wish there wasn’t a need for it, but I think it’d be hard to come up with a good incentive structure for the junior formulas. Maybe both should happen tbh. Open the door as wide as possible.

        Also, the W Series cars don’t have power steering. I promise you, female drivers are more than capable of handling that. I’d be curious to hear from female drivers what additional barriers there are, since the whole system was set up for male drivers.

  • Counter point- Mohammed bin Sulayem currently owns some Bugattis, but he would like to own more Bugattis.

    It’s embarrassing that they let W run out of cash and cancelled the rest of the season. I think it really shows what the people at the top think about the program.

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