Formula One is planning to set up an all-female junior series to help women racers climb the motorsport ladder, according to media reports on Friday.
Sky Sports television and other media said the series could debut as early as 2023 with a focus on 16- to 22-year-old drivers.
They said it would complement the existing W Series, which cancelled its last three races this season after running into financial difficulties but whose organisers are confident it will return in 2023.
Motorsport.com suggested any new series would use Formula Four cars with the new series feeding into Formula Three and Formula Two.
W Series, a free-to-enter championship which has been part of the F1 support programme at selected races this season, uses mechanically identical Tatuus Formula Three cars.
Formula One would not confirm the reports but said it was committed to ensuring greater opportunity for talented female racers to progress and would provide more details in due course.
No female driver has started a grand prix since the late Italian Lella Lombardi, also the only woman to score a top six finish, in 1976.
Seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton told reporters on Thursday that he felt Formula One could have done more to help W Series and female racers.
“There has not been enough focus on women in sport, the whole of Formula One’s life, and there’s not enough emphasis on it now,” said the Briton.
“There is not enough representation across the board, within the industry,” added the Mercedes driver.
“And there’s not really a pathway for those young, amazing drivers to even get to Formula One, and then you have some people who say we’re never going to see a female F1 driver ever. So that’s not a good narrative to be putting out.”