jamie chadwick

Jamie Chadwick on racing in America and championing change for women in motorsport

Jamie Chadwick is one of motorsport’s best known female racing drivers, not just for her impressive on-track record but for her dedication to championing change across the industry for girls and young women who are looking to break out into the fast lane, or just find a new hobby in the form of karting.

Like many racing drivers, Jamie’s first exposure to actual racing was through karts, and she then climbed through the ranks, competing in Ginetta Juniors to the British GT Championship in GT4, then moving to single seater categories like W Series – of which she is a three-time Champion – and now INDY NXT by Firestone in the USA. Alongside her racing adventures, which also include Extreme E and representing the United Kingdom in the Race of Champions, Jamie is part of the Williams Driver Academy and is working alongside Lia Block as F1 Academy Adviser.

Off-track, Jamie has been a key figure in pushing for more diversity in motorsport. At the beginning of 2024, she launched The Jamie Chadwick Series, which aims to offer young girls a safe space for them to experiment with karting. Jamie also talked about her experiences in racing, as well as how she deals with race-related pressure in her Sky Sports Editions episode.

Silverstone caught up with Jamie to talk all things women in motorsport, from her own career to dedicating herself to making a long-lasting change on the industry.



Jamie was 12 when she began karting. She followed her older brother Ollie through karts, which was a huge help to her at the time since there were very few other girls at the kart circuit.

“I always felt quite comfortable in the environment because of Ollie which definitely made a big difference,” she says. “I always look back at this and wonder why I was quite blissfully oblivious to the fact that I was one of so few girls.

“I grew up in a lot of male-dominated environments, I played football and did a lot of these kinds of things and never saw it as being unusual until much later on in my life.”

When she was developing her craft in a kart at a young age, many people were surprised by the potential speed Jamie had early on, and that was something she never liked because she felt like if she was one of the boys, onlookers wouldn’t take the same approach and wouldn’t be as surprised by her speed.

“I always felt like I had to prove myself, and I think the term ‘being fast for a girl’ always resonated with me and I’ve always hated it,” Jamie says. “I never wanted to be good for a girl; I wanted to be good full stop.

“Always feeling like I had to prove myself was something that perhaps at the time, I didn’t see as being a problem, but now looking back, it definitely maybe had its challenges; trying to be one of the boys, just be like everyone I was competing against because there were so few girls in that environment, I definitely wasn’t myself.”



Jamie has spent years of her career constantly being asked the same questions: ‘why aren’t there women in the sport?’ or ‘why haven’t we seen a woman in Formula 1 for a number of years?’ Her natural default answer was always ‘it’s a numbers game and there aren’t enough women in motorsport so naturally they don’t filter through to the top.’ Of course, this is part of the reason, but to understand why entirely, Jamie highlights that you must understand why that actually is, why women aren’t competing in the sport, why they aren’t getting involved in the first place.

“When you start to actually investigate that, then you start to realise there are things to change and there are things we can do better to improve the sport and make it more accessible,” she says. “From that, we are going to see a difference.

“There really aren’t many young girls that are looking at the sport and thinking that it’s something they can be involved with.”

Jamie’s single seater career officially kicked off in 2017, when she competed in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship, and in 2018, she became the first ever female driver to win an F3 race after storming to victory at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit. In 2019, Jamie had a number of roles across motorsport, including testing with the NIO Formula E Team, joining Williams Racing as their Development Driver and competing in W Series’ inaugural season. Over the next few years, Jamie raced in Extreme E and ROC, but also continued her W Series campaign, becoming a three-time champion in the category by 2022.

Every single one of her racing roles, whether on-track in a racing car or off-track in the simulator or on our TV screens, Jamie has claimed her spot as an influential figure for all women in motorsport.

However, she looks back at her early career and feels like she was selfish and was very much focused on herself and what she wanted to achieve. There were a few moments in Jamie’s career which were vital turning points in helping her realise she wanted to be part of the change and wanted to front the action that was desperately needed to see more women in motorsport. Engulfing herself in the world of W Series – through competing and seeing how it was received – highlighted this turning point in Jamie’s mind.

“The amount of young girls in particular that would come to races and speak to us and be inspired by what the series was doing was a big eye-opener as to the impact it was having on women in the sport,” Jamie says. “After that, I felt more responsibility, and now, more responsibility than ever, to know that actually, we can really impact and change the face of the sport in years to come.

“It’s in our hands and having that opportunity to do more is something that I feel particularly encouraged by.”

W Series joined the Formula 1 support calendar in 2021, its first year back after a break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Across two years, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone featured twice on W Series’ calendar, but the grid travelled across Europe and went international in 2022. Jamie remembers that many people within the W Series family were surprised by the impact that joining the F1 support package had on the sport.

“The popularity and the impact it had really did showcase the desire and the need for it, and the appetite that there is for women in motorsport,” she says. “That’s only going from strength to strength, so with all the initiatives we’re seeing now, it’s really coming to fruition.”

There is a clear experience gap in motorsport, and Jamie recognises that this experience gap was clear in W Series and for women in motorsport overall. With only 20 seats available at the highest level of racing in F1, the experience and the ability required to race at that level is huge, so it’s only natural that we aren’t going to see half of the seats taken by women at this moment in time.

“But that’s not to say we can’t help bridge that gap,” Jamie says. “If we look across the whole industry, not just drivers but everyone, it’s the same; you have to have a certain level of skillset to work and compete in Formula 1.”



Jamie’s number two mechanic in W Series, Cleo Collins, was promoted to number one mechanic before she joined the Alpine F1 Team, where she currently works as the RST number one mechanic.

“W Series was about giving opportunities, which is really what’s needed at this stage,” Jamie says. “It really does make a big difference giving that experience and that opportunity to as many women as possible.”

Jamie has admittedly always been looking at racing opportunities in the American motorsport sphere and after W Series, she was exploring all the potential options she had to progress. In 2022, Jamie was invited by Andretti Global to test their INDY NXT car and while this was all happening, Jamie was having separate conversations with DHL about doing some ambassador work with them.

“I went over, did the test, really enjoyed driving the car and doing the test,” she says. “Off the back of that, Andretti expressed an interest in me joining them and without us even realising, DHL, obviously a long-term partner of Andretti, had already picked up the phone to Michael.

“The stars really fully aligned and they gave me the opportunity to go over there and have the full season last year which was something that I was really pleased came off.”

Although everything came together quickly in terms of her test with Andretti, shortly followed by her full-time race seat in INDY NXT for 2023, Jamie still felt all sorts of emotions when her seat was confirmed.

“It was obviously so exciting,” she says. “But at the same time, it was about quickly transforming into the focus for this season and I was so excited to have this opportunity that I just wanted to make the most out of it, work the hardest I could and just immerse myself as much as I could into the environment.”

When Jamie was announced as one of Andretti’s INDY NXT drivers for the 2023 season alongside Louis Foster, Hunter McElrea and James Roe Jr., she became the first female racing driver to compete in the series in 13 years. While the NTT INDYCAR SERIES has seen a number of women competing in the category across recent years, unlike Formula 1, its feeder series has lacked female representation.

“The environment I slotted into with Andretti, I very much felt that they were in a position to cater for what I needed,” Jamie says. “So it’s an environment that I really enjoy going into and that made a big difference, especially in my first year which was a challenge and a big transition.

“Andretti are really championing women as much as possible throughout the company,” Jamie says. “They’re doing an amazing job of pushing diversity.

One thing Jamie has had to learn throughout her racing career is how to take any external pressure of being one of so few women racing in America, and competing in motorsport in general, off of her shoulders.

“I want to do the absolute best I can, to represent women in the sport in the best way possible,” she says. “Obviously, I want to do the most I believe I can, but if I don’t, it shouldn’t reflect on the whole gender, the whole success of women in the sport.

“There are so many talented female drivers coming through and my success should not determine the opportunities for women coming through; I feel like I know what we’re [Jamie and Andretti] are capable of achieving, particularly this year in my second year, so that’s my full focus.”



Aside from her on-track achievements and competing in INDY NXT this season, Jamie is focused on pushing for change and is a huge advocate for encouraging more girls and young women to try out karting and expose themselves to the world of motorsport. Her brand-new venture, The Jamie Chadwick Series, launched earlier this year with Jamie looking back at her own start into karts, and how currently, motorsport sees a range of initiatives at a higher level, like early single seater, but there is still very little being done at the grassroots level. The series may be a small project at the minute, but Jamie has big goals for where she wants it to end up.

“Following W Series, there is a huge opportunity now to really try and make a big difference within the sport and get as many young girls involved and really change the face of the sport,” she says. “The series is about trying to encourage young girls to enjoy the sport at the grassroots level. They’re not all going to be professional racing drivers and they’re not all going to go to Formula 1, but I’m hoping that they can enjoy the sport for what it is, and have an environment that they feel safe and comfortable in.”

As well as hoping to win her first race in INDY NXT this season, Jamie’s focus is on changing the motorsport sphere for women.

“I just want to champion women in the sport as much as possible,” she says. “I was lucky how I got into the sport and how my career ended up following through, so it’s about creating those opportunities, encouraging as many young girls into it as possible and from there, who knows what it could be?”