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Woman racer Jamie Chadwick joins F1's Williams as development driver

Jamie Chadwick's dream of breaking into Formula One is a step closer, after Williams announced yesterday that had hired her as a development driver.

The 21-year-old has emerged as the most likely candidate to end what is now a 43-year wait for a female driver in F1.

She has followed up successes in Formula 3 by leading the inaugural all-female W Series championship this season.

Chadwick will attend three grands prix for Williams this year.

The last woman to start a Formula One grand prix was Lella Lombardi in 1976.

Fellow Italian Giovanna Amati drove for Brabham but she was replaced by future world champion Damon Hill in 1992.

"Being a part of the Driver Academy is an amazing platform and I'm excited to get started," Chadwick told BBC Sport.

"The time in the simulator is a fantastic opportunity to aid with my development.

"I look forward to spending time in the factory at Grove, immersing myself within the team and assisting wherever I can."

Williams deputy principal Claire Williams said she hoped having a female role model would inspire girls to take up racing.

"We hope to show that motorsport is inclusive and exciting, be that as a driver or on the engineering side," she said.

"Jamie is a great talent and I look forward to working with her."

Williams, once a dominant force in F1, previously signed Scottish woman driver Susie Wolff to a development contract in 2012.

But Wolff left three years later.

- AFP

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