Carmen Jorda may have been on the initial list of participants for W Series evaluation, but the former F1 development driver chose not to take part.
The Spanish racer was part of Lotus & Renault for three seasons, acting as their development driver between 2015 & 2017.
Her signing to such a position was regarded as controversial at the time, due to poor results in lower formulae: her best result in GP3 was a P12 finish at Valencia in 2012.
Jorda also attracted controversy as she said that a women-only series could be beneficial for female racers: “It could be a good idea to have a women’s series,”Jorda told Sky Sports F1. “I’ve been racing since l was 12 and for many years l have seen women try to make it to the top but nobody has done it. So why not give it a a try?”
Jorda is also part of the FIA Women’s Commission, one of the 32 people who make up the panel. The Commission is an FIA program designed to promote women’s place in motorsport in whichever roles they pursue.
Having been dropped from Renault’s program in 2017, Jorda had the chance to resume her racing career this year as W Series (the female-only racing series) accepted her application to be one of the 54 drivers to progress through to the evaluation process in Austria. However, the Spaniard was conspicuous in her absence, leaving just 53 drivers to fight over the 28 places in the final. In an Instagram post, she showed herself taking part in a karting race on the day of the W Series shootout.
A spokesperson for W Series confirmed Jorda had decided not to take part in the evaluation process:
“In the end not everyone whom we long-listed opted to take their chance, and that’s up to them. We wish them well, just as we wish well those drivers who never chose to throw their hats into the W Series ring in the first place.”
“But now our focus must be on the drivers who successfully progressed through the Wachauring [Melk, Austria] selection programme, who are on the cusp of embarking on a brand-new, free-of-charge, hugely exciting but very challenging W Series chapter in their careers.”
Jorda later addressed her absence by saying her sponsors played a part in not attending:
I'll like to announce that I won't be part of the @wseries for its first season in 2019. It has been a pleasure for me to help promote a championship for women as @wseries during the past months but unfortunately we couldn't find an agreement that could fulfil my sponsors’ needs. pic.twitter.com/t8NGXaF4PN
— Carmen Jorda (@CarmenJorda) January 30, 2019