Meet Doreen Seidel, the Playboy model aiming to be the first women’s F1 champ

WHEN Formula 1 announced the new W Series exclusively for female drivers, opinions were understandably split.

Some felt it was simply continuing the gender gap in the sport but for one Playboy model, it was the break she was desperate for.

 Formula 1 announced a controversial W Series made up of female drivers only

Instagram @doreenseidel
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Formula 1 announced a controversial W Series made up of female drivers only
 It is good news for German driver Doreen Seidel who is on the 55-name provisional list

Instagram @doreenseidel
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It is good news for German driver Doreen Seidel who is on the 55-name provisional list

Doreen Seidel is one of 55 drivers on the provisional list for the inaugural season but it is quite different to what she was doing a decade ago.

Now 33, Seidel made her Playboy debut in 2008 and settled into the role with ease.

So much so that she quickly rose through the ranks at the magazine to become a prominent Playmate, travelling across the world with her fellow models.

She was named Playmate of the Year for Germany in 2009 and was taken to the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles to meet Hugh Hefner and experience the famous lifestyle.

 Seidel started out as a Playboy model, making her debut in 2008

Instagram @doreenseidel
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Seidel started out as a Playboy model, making her debut in 2008
 She was named Germany's Playmate of the Year in 2009

Instagram @doreenseidel
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She was named Germany's Playmate of the Year in 2009
 The 33-year-old travelled across the world working as a 'Bunny'

Instagram @doreenseidel
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The 33-year-old travelled across the world working as a 'Bunny'
 She was invited out to the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles and met Hugh Hefner

Instagram @doreenseidel
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She was invited out to the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles and met Hugh Hefner

Seidel then went on tour as a 'Bunny' to Mexico, Spain, Russia, Poland, Greece, Argentina, Romania and Hungary.

In the same year as her national 'award', she was the 'lucky charm' Bunny in front of a Playboy branded car but then wanted to get behind the wheel rather than on top of the bonnet.

From there, he passion for racing cars simply boomed and she now has her sights set on a world championship.

The Munich-based racer participated in her first season of races in 2011 – with the Playboy logo proudly on display – and achieved her first podium finish that year.

 Seidel started off by modelling in front of racing cars

Instagram @doreenseidel
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Seidel started off by modelling in front of racing cars
 After a while she was determined to get behind the wheel and started racing in 2011

Instagram @doreenseidel
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After a while she was determined to get behind the wheel and started racing in 2011
 The German beauty also took up instructing in 2014 to teach others how to race cars

Instagram @doreenseidel
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The German beauty also took up instructing in 2014 to teach others how to race cars
 The Munich-based driver races with the Playboy logo on her car

Instagram @doreenseidel
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The Munich-based driver races with the Playboy logo on her car

As the years progressed, she rose through the ranks and switched between endurance racing and sprints while also taking up instructing in 2014 to help others get a grip of the sport.

The German raced for Mercedes-Benz this year but is desperate to show what she can do in the W Series next year.

Away from the track, Seidel has a diploma in business administration, loves snowboarding and is a self-confessed poor surfer but still enjoys at least attempting to catch a wave or two.

Three of her compatriots are also on the provisional list while five British drivers made the initial cut: Jamie Chadwick, Esmee Hawkey, Jessica Hawkins, Sarah Moore and Alice Powell.

 Seidel has a diploma in business administration and enjoys snowboarding, travelling and surfing

Instagram @doreenseidel
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Seidel has a diploma in business administration and enjoys snowboarding, travelling and surfing
 2018 was her first year racing for Mercedes-Benz and she is ready to push on in pursuit of a Formula 1 title

Instagram @doreenseidel
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2018 was her first year racing for Mercedes-Benz and she is ready to push on in pursuit of a Formula 1 title
 There are four Germans on the initial 55-woman list of drivers for the inaugural season

Instagram @doreenseidel
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There are four Germans on the initial 55-woman list of drivers for the inaugural season

The series is due to get underway in May with free entry for the selected racers – chosen via a simple qualification early next year – and a £1.14m prize fund on offer, £380,000 for the winner.

With six 30-minute races at former European F1 circuits and the women driving 1.8l Formula Three cars, it promises to be an exciting spectacle albeit surrounded by controversy.

Spanish racer Carmen Jorda created a backlash when she backed a female-only series, suggesting women were at a physical disadvantage and therefore could not compete with men at the very top level.

F1 racer Kevin Magnussen also supported the series, as did former British racer David Coulthard who is on the advisory board.

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Racing driver is different to a driver of a racing car ? #becauseracecar #racecar #heritage #heritagef1 #tdf #f1 #formula1

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 F1 racer Kevin Magnussen supports the new W Series, saying it opens up opportunities for more female drivers

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F1 racer Kevin Magnussen supports the new W Series, saying it opens up opportunities for more female drivers

Coral Simanovich is the beautiful model wife of Barcelona star Sergi Roberto

Magnussen said: "When I was karting as a boy, I raced a few girls who were talented and quick. But there weren't many of them; a lot more boys than girls go karting and that's a fact.

"So I welcome W Series and hope it'll help female racers progress their careers."

But former IndyCar driver Pippa Mann felt let down by the W Series, which is introduced just a year after grid girls were axed from pit-lanes and starting grids at Grand Prix.

She tweeted: "What a sad day for motorsport. Those with funding to help female racers are choosing to segregate them as opposed to supporting them.

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I have the best grid girls ? #playboy

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OMG ? it’s my 10 year anniversary this month ❤️ It was in Mai 2008 when I became Playmate and Playmate of the year in Germany. I never expected that this would change my life completely ? I’m beyond happy that Playboy brought me so amazing women in my life. I could travel the world, party with Hugh Hefner in the Playboy Mansion and had so many amazing Jobs. Even my racing wouldn’t be the same without the bunny ?? I’m very proud to be part of the bunny family and let’s see,… this journey is not over yet ? #playboy #playmateoftheyear

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Enjoying Miami Beach ??

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"I am deeply disappointed to see such a historic step backwards take place in my life time."

Despite the mixed reaction, Seidel is definitely excited at the possibility of competing and taking her racing to the next level.

She took to social media and said: "So excited to be part of the W Series and meet all the other qualifiers end of January for the final selection. Let’s do this."

And after creating quite the storm as a Playmate and model, the German will be looking to do the same from the cockpit next year.

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So excited to be part of the @wseriesracing and meet all the other qualifiers end of January for the final selection. Let’s do this ?? #wseries #girlpower #womeninracing #rethinkracing

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First drive with the Lamborghini Aventador S yesterday ?? uhhh…. it’s fast and the sound of the V12 engine is so amazing ?————— But honestly, Lamborghini: This car needs another clutch ??‍♀️ it’s jerking so much when shifting, hahaha ?————- #lamborghini @lamborghini #aventadors #aventador #supercars #lasvegas #carswithoutlimits

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Charging my batteries for the racetrack tomorrow ?? #vegas #encore #pooltime #doriracing

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WHEN Formula 1 announced the new W Series exclusively for female drivers, opinions were understandably split.