Aston Martin driver ambassador Jessica Hawkins says it shouldn’t be allowed Series W – Women-only motor racing championship is dying out.

There are serious concerns about the future of the series after it was forced to abandon its final season with three rounds remaining.

The W Series chiefs remain hopeful that the cashless championships will return next year.

But the emergence of plans at last weekend’s United States Grand Prix for a F1-backed women’s category aimed at young drivers has cast further doubt on the likelihood of the W series continuing.

British driver Hawkins, who has competed in all three W Series campaigns, said: “We cannot allow the first groundbreaking women’s motor racing series to fail. We can’t let that happen, not in 2022. This is not an option.”

The W Series was created in 2019 to serve as a stepping stone to Formula 1, with a British driver Jamie Chadwick securing a championship hat-trick.

But despite her success, 24-year-old Chadwick was unable to secure a place in any of the feeder divisions of F1, Formula 2, or Formula 3.

It has been 46 years since the athlete – Italian Lella Lombardi – took part in Formula 1 races, and eight years after Susie Wolfewho is married to the head of the Mercedes team, Toto Wolff, participated in the practice of the Grand Prix.

The proposed new women’s racing series, which could launch as early as next year, is believed to focus on drivers aged 16 to 22 with a direct route to F1’s feeder categories.

Hawkins added: “I welcome this championship, but I don’t think it will solve the question of why there has been no female driver in Formula 1.

“It will be a huge help, but let’s not ignore those who have done well so far. It’s not too late for older drivers. I’m not done with my career. I’m 27 with many years ahead of me and I don’t want it to end.

“Look at Ilvits. We see the reward for the amazing work of the current team, but what we’re really getting is the work that was done five, 10 or 20 years ago.

“I feel like the W series helped make that happen, and we’ll see the series pay off in a few years.”

In Austin last weekend, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton called on F1 to do more to help women reach the highest levels of motorsport amid the W series’ financial problems.

(BT Sport)

“Lewis’ comments were fantastic,” added Hawkins. “To use your platform to keep the championship going is really powerful and he’s been a real champion of the series.

“It’s underestimated how powerful his voice is. It gives us faith that the people above are also helping us. It’s encouraging and Lewis has been a real advocate for that.”