Race 3 of W Series, the elite level motor racing competition for women, is the most high-profile event so far with the 18 drivers racing at Silverstone, UK on Saturday 17th July. The race is especially compelling as they will be performing on the same weekend as the Formula 1 drivers for the Great Britain Grand Prix with over a hundred thousand motor racing fans in the stands.
The pressure is on then for the lone US driver in W Series, Sabre Cook, who is looking to pick up her first points of the season after two tough races at the Red Bull Ring, Austria. The 27-year-old American driver caught up with beIN SPORTS before the weekend got underway.
How were the first two W Series races for you?
The first two races were unfortunately quite challenging for a number of reasons but I am looking to take all those lessons learned to have a better week. I really want to improve on that qualifying position, that's the main goal.
The next W Series race at Silverstone is one of the flagship events, how is that track for you?
I'll tell you when I drive it! I've never raced there before so it will be a new track just like the Red Bull Ring (in Austria). I'm really excited to race on it for the first time, because of the history behind it and it looks like a great track.
How important has it been for W Series to be in partnership with Formula 1 this season and racing on the same tracks and weekends?
It's been critical for projecting W Series to the next level and getting that extra bit of exposure to show that we do need to push for women in motor sports and women in sports in general.
Lewis Hamilton has been very supportive of W Series, have you had chance to see him or the other F1 drivers in the paddock?
Things are quite strict with COVID so our bubbles are very separate. They can't get into our paddock and we can't get into theirs.
You have 18 elite drivers in the W Series group who are close, what is it like in terms of on-track rivalries?
W Series is more unique that in a standard competition when you are racing against each other. We do connect with each other quite well, we share the same experiences and passion, and it's very nice to have. But once the helmets go on, it's like every other race where the objective is to get to the front past anyone else on the track whether they are your friend or not.
What is the main goal for W Series, putting a woman into a Formula 1 driver's seat or financial stability for the sport?
The main goal of W Series is first to bring more attention to women's motor sports, secondly to provide a stepping stone to get women more involved in the upper levels of motor sports and thirdly, to inspire young women coming up and to show that it is a real option for them to pursue.
If they don't continue to get inspired and more involved then it doesn't really matter if we get someone in an F1 seat in the next couple of years. The key is that it is sustainable change over the long term.
How excited are you to bring the W Series to Austin, Texas on October 23rd?
It's going to be an amazing experience to go back to the Circuit of the Americas, it's such a beautiful track and facility and to be able to bring all the W Series drivers to the US for the first time, I'm excited to watch their reaction.
What would be your ultimate dream drive - Formula 1, Indy Car or Nascar?
Indy Car is my goal.
What is your goal for Silverstone this weekend?
My goal is to improve performance over Austria and continue to focus on scoring points.
You can catch the W Series Race 3 from Silverstone live, for free on beIN XTRA on Saturday July 17th from 7:55AM ET / 4:55AM PT with a prime time repeat on beIN SPORTS at 9PM ET.