Jamie Chadwick wants to become the first female Formula 1 driver since the 1970s and is targeting graduation to the series “by 2023 or 2024” after securing substantial backing.

The 2019 W Series champion has signed a deal with single-seater giants Prema Powerteam to contest the Formula Regional European Championship this season.

Chadwick has also gained significant financial support from Rodin Cars’ multi-millionaire founder David Dicker after impressing during a test in a car developed by Rodin in New Zealand back in March.

The 22-year-old Briton, who is on the books of the Williams F1 team as a development driver, hopes the “stars will align” in her quest to become the first female driver to compete in a grand prix since Lella Lombardi in 1976.

"It's a dream come true, really,” Chadwick is quoted by the BBC. “If I had a smaller budget I couldn't race with a top team like Prema and give myself the best chance to perform and justify being in F1.

"The scary thing with motorsport is the financial backing required. It's an insane amount, but it's so exciting to have been given an opportunity to do it with Prema.

"To drive in Formula 3, for example, you're looking at double what I got in W Series prize money.

"It's the most exciting moment of my career, and gives me security and structure,” she added.

“Every year I've gone racing I've always had that uncertainty [of what I could do the following year], but now I have structure and support, and I can focus on performing my best."

Chadwick joins a trio of Ferrari Driver Academy prospects in Prema’s line-up, including Arthur Leclerc - the brother of Ferrari F1 race-winner Charles. She will race the same-spec machinery she drove on her way to a fourth-place finish in the 2019-2020 Asian Formula 3 series.

Rodin boss Dicker described Chadwick as an “exceptional talent” and is confident in her abilities to make it all the way to F1.

“The philosophy here at Rodin Cars is to make exceptional cars, which requires an exceptional team behind it,” he explained.

“Jamie is an exceptional racing talent. We are taking a long-term view on this in fully supporting her journey as she moves up the ladder towards F1.

"We want to see Jamie flourish and hone her abilities as a world-class racing driver in competitive racing on the global stage and she is joining the Rodin family because I believe she has the skills needed to contribute to the development of the forthcoming FZERO - a car that aims to be faster than an F1 car around a track.

"Her technical knowledge and ability to communicate that back to our designers and engineers is already proven when she visited us in March this year and her contribution will be invaluable as the FZERO project continues to gather momentum.”

The eight-round Formula Regional series begins at Misano on 1-2 August.

 

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