Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 May 2019

WATCH: 28 drivers through to next stage of selection for new, all-female W Series

More than 100 applicants from around the world took part in first phase of testing in Mel, Austria

Twenty-eight drivers were chosen on Monday to go through to the next stage of the selection process of W Series, the all-new single-seater racing series for female drivers only.

More than 100 applicants from around the world had sought to join the new series whose ultimate aim is to help women develop the skills to compete in Formula One for the first time since 1976.

Britain was the most represented country on the short-list with five, with Jamie Chadwick, Alice Powell, Esmee Hawkey, Jessica Hawkins and Sarah Moore going through.

The 54 drivers who attended the three-day tests in Melk, Austria which ended with a "race of champions" had to impress judges who included former F1 drivers David Coulthard and Alexander Wurz along with former IndyCar and Indianapolis 500 racer Lyn St James.

The 28 selected will now take part in a four-day test in a Formula Three car in Almeria, southern Spain, in late March before the final 18-strong grid, plus two reserves, is confirmed.

The first race is scheduled for Hockenheim, Germany, on May 3 and the overall series winner will collect US$500,000, with prize money down to 18th place.

Updated: January 29, 2019 10:01 AM