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Girls on Track – The latest initiative to encourage women into motorsport
Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Mar 2018   |  4:20 pm GMT  |  186 comments

This week saw the launch at the Geneva Motorshow of a new initiative aimed at encouraging young women to get involved in motorsport – the Girls on Track karting challenge.

The initiative is backed by the FIA Women in Motorsport commission and its president ex-rally driver Michele Mouton as well as Susie Wolff and Tatiana Calderon, who was named as test driver for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 team this week.

With funding from the European Commission – via the Erasmus educational programme – and sponsorship from Yokohama, the programme is aimed at bringing girls between 13 and 18 years old to motorsport.

The Girls On Track programme is very much a grassroots programme, using the fast growing discipline of karting slalom, which is a very low cost entry level category that can be set up in city centres and urban settings.

Eight European national federations are participating – Belgium, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden. The target is to reach more than 3000 girls.

Three finalists from each country will be invited to take part in the European final at Le Mans in March 2019, and six drivers will be chosen to form a European Team that will undertake a full FIA backed sporting and educational programme.

Although the programme does not set any goals in terms such as having a female F1 driver in the next five to ten years, the objective is to increase the ‘funnel’ of girls participating in the sport. One of the main reasons cited why there is no female F1 driver today is because not enough girls participate at grass roots and kerting level so the funnel is too narrow, compared to boys.

All Grand Prix drivers started their careers in karting in some form or another and that has been the case for many years now.

“This project is a huge challenge, although essential to raise awareness about motorsport among young girls and detect the female champions of tomorrow. With The Girls On Track programme, we have a great opportunity to open up the world of motorsport to a new generation” said Michele Mouton.

Calderon will be working in the Sauber simulator and also attending several Grands Prix to work with engineers, although the deal does not appear to include any test time in the F1 car itself.

If you or one of your friends or family is interested in finding out more about Girls on Track then click on this link

What do you think? Leave your comment in the section below

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I think that women in motorsport is great for the following reasons (In no particular order) :
1. Forget football, the sport that has men and women competing together will be THE sport.
2. Lewis and others have admitted that the thing that enabled their success/ caused their loss was mental toughness and women often have in spades. I don’t agree that the grid would comprise all the men followed by all the women.
3. The soap opera will be good. We know that several of the drivers are mates and there will be relationships. I bet that Lewis and Nicole would have stayed an item if she was another one of the drivers.
4. They will brighten up the proceedings. It’s a bit cynical, the grid girls have gone but will be ‘replaced by’ the most glamourous female drivers.
Concerning the physical aspect. I recall that Steve Davis was asked about women in snooker and remarked that he played the top lady player 5 times in all and beat her soundly every time. He said that in the professional game the fine physical differences between men and women conspired to allow his win each time. He remarked that if she attended ‘your’ club she’d beat everyone there. There’s that chap Greg somebody or other who trained David Walliams to swim the channel. I’d like to hear from someone like him on the physical issues.



Regarding the readership on this forum -I wonder if you ever had a POLL on this website that shows the ratio of male is to female readers?

Just curious, It proves nothing, but this article makes me wonder about the spectator demographics. I think the yearly surveys ask for the readers gender, but I do not recall if I have ever come across the male is to female ratio in the results.

Any Idea?


It’s 90% male on this site, based on the 2016 survey we did.


No UK participation? #Shame


These are the grid-girls I want to see.


First & foremost, I want to say bring it on.

This is a good thing, because a lot of females I have spoken to have the mistaken perception that they can’t compete equally. In physical strength sports, this may be true, but not in motor racing.

In Australia, we have Garth & Leanne Tander. Both have won the Australian Formula Ford Championship & Leanne almost won the Formula 3 as well.

Females racing face 2 major hurdles.

1 is belief. They must believe they can, in the same way as Lewis Hamilton.

The 2nd is a huge blight on society called discrimination.

Swiss racer Simona De Silvestro recently felt this at the Clipsal 500 at Adelaide.

Another driver (that I won’t name) failed to give way entering turn 8, as per local Race Stewards instructions, & forced his way ahead of “The bloody Girl”, clipping Simona’s nose & forcing himself to run wide into the concrete at nearly 200kph.

The next day, the same driver tried to push her into the concrete barrier for revenge for the day before. Had Saturday’s Turn 8 incident been 2 male drivers, the discriminating arrogant idiot would have trailed into Turn 8 & not hit the wall.

The one other occasional danger, actually occurred at the 2017 Bathurst 12 hour.

Garth Tander was about to lap some slower class cars at Turn 1. Leanne Tander, leading her class as usual, was the innocent victim of another car clipping Garth, causing him to knock Leanne’s car out of the race.

When his stint was finished, a reporter asked Garth if he was worried about an upcoming Stewards enquiry about the Turn 1 incident, to which he answered “No, I’m worried about facing my wife”.

I personally enjoy watching Females race because I believe they have more finesse & flow with a race car than most Males.

If anybody wants proof, just YouTube anything with Sabine Schmidt.


Many race tracks are kept alive by using lot of tax money. If a government says we don’t pay as long there aren’t race events for girls too…

What would happen?

Suddenly there would be race events for girls?

Or more probably: will there be only races in countries who don’t care about gender correctness like Bahrain, Quatar,…?

Tornillo Amarillo

With funding from the European Commission – via the Erasmus educational programme – and sponsorship from Yokohama

Are there any money to fund Kubica?

He is the first fast zombie returning from death, handicaped and pushing alone to race in F1… but any money, any programme, was funding him! Crazy this world, they accept other money, no rules here.

Conclusion, they want just more girls paying tickets, TV and merchandising. Once I’ve made the mistake to go with my teen girl to a concert of Katy Parry… we were only 2 men in the full hockey stadium! I’ve only heard an uninterrupted loud “Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiih” from the public from the 1st song until after the last one, only that…


It seems to me that a female F1 would be a good starting point. If there are no icons for girls to aspire to be like then the interest is always going to be limited, and the problem becomes an ongoing cycle.

The only way it changes is if a woman happens to break through and changes the perception that women cannot compete with the top drivers. I dont know if they can or can’t, but my guess is that a world class talent could make up for any lack in physical strength with driving ability. But they would have to be special.

A female support series to F1 would give the opportunity for top women drivers to test and regularly race F1 cars, and the times could be compared with the men.


Sometimes I think the world is full of ‘social police’ who like to tell other people and other organisations what they must do and how they must spend their money despite having nothing to loose themselves. Until motorsport is run like some sort of social enterprise – funded with monopoly money? – I do not expect much change. This is similar to the people currently telling Hollywood how they must make films and who they must employ yet they are not offering to foot the bill. I don’t think we will see an other Lella Lombardi for some time.


F1 is a very physically demanding sport, the trouble is I think a lot of people assume it’s ‘just’ driving a car and hence get upset at the lake of female drivers. Lack of understanding. Any of us who’ve done a few laps in a decent kart will tell you it’s pretty tiring after a short while. I know JB seems to think females are as physically strong as males but that simply isn’t the case for the vast majority.

We don’t have mixed football, rugby, golf etc so surely the best way to encourage female drivers to have female only racing series. These could be run alongside existing events to ensure decent coverage.

I have a wondefully intelligent 13 year old daughter so I’m very keen that she is not disadvantaged in any way as she pregresses through life. I’d certainly not recommend her competing physically with males but against other females – certainly!


Going back to the 1940s the American Gofer Babe Didrickson asked to be allowed to play in mens tournaments but she was refused. She had been an olympic long jumper and hit the ball as far as most males. All these women today are so lucky that there is nothing to keep them out of motorsport !

Richard Mortimer


Actually, this is something I have given much thought to for a long time. It’s not actually strength, it’s the power of concentration! Maybe women just do not have the same ultimate capacity as men in that regard?

Pat Moss did rather well. Danica Patrick has won in Indy car, if not done so well in NASCAR. In the late 1980s / early 90s there was a dynamite kart driver called Jeanette Peak. I thought she might make it.


So because the average female isn’t as strong as the average male, an exceptional female racing driver should be prevented from racing against males, because she happened to be born with lady bits?

I’m not suggesting males and females should play rugby together, but I don’t see why females can’t race against males. Yes, it’s physically exhausting, but it’s not the same kind of physical demand as playing rugby against a 6’5″, 230lbs male.

If females can compete against males in offshore ocean racing, or at top level acrobatic/stunt/fighter jet flying, they can do it in F1, or any racing car.

I highly doubt a modern F1 car is more demanding to drive than an Audi Quattro from the Group B era – Michelle Mouton already showed she could hang with the boys.


Twitch – I think that by encouraging a ‘mixed’ racing series you’re creating a strong bias against females. To compete in current F1 a female would have to be exceptionally talented and physically a match for the already incredibly fit males. That’s not fair on females who are incredibly talented drivers.

Creating female championships would allow a lot more females to compete and raise the profile of the sport. Seems like a no brainer to me – look how many other female sports are really taking off now.

I realise that to some my first sentence above may apear sexist, but it’s really not. It’s a reality that quite often gets put by the wayside within the current climate to the detriment of the fairer sex. Actually that’s probably sexist too – what a minefiled! BOOM.


Neil – I think there’s many things you aren’t considering.

Who would watch a female only F1? Think of how few people watch F2…do you think FF1 would pull more numbers than F2? I highly doubt it.

If FF1 is going to pull a fraction of the numbers of MF1, then where is the money going to come from? F1 teams claim to struggle with their current budget….the teams in FF1 would be operating on a fraction of a fraction of their male counterparts (unless its mandated by rules), and therefor, the cars would be slower, from a technical point of view. So again….who would watch female F1 when the cars are objectively slower?

You could make female F1 a spec open wheel series…like Indycar, which has had female drivers in it for over a decade now….F1 playing catch up to the rest of the world with this one lol.

How far down the junior ranks does the split go? Again, who is going to pay for 2x as many feeder series around the world?

Here’s a curveball. How would your gender split F1 series handle a driver like, oh let’s say Max Verstappen, decided one day he wanted to be Maxine Verstappen, and had gender reasignement surgery. Would she be allowed to compete in female F1, or would she be too good to race with the slow women?


Twitch – I see your point regarding potential viewing figures for female only F1, you’re basically saying who cares about watching women drive when you can watch men drive? Your comment could therefore be seen as being incredibly sexist even though (we know) you mean well.

Regarding speed differences between male F1 and female F1, assuming differences in car performance due to budget, I really think the interest comes out of the competitive nature of the sport. I’d way prefer current F1 to be 10% slower based upon restrictions to aerodynamic grip and watch how the racing improves. You can’t see mph on tv but you can see wheel to wheel racing.

As for gender reassigned drivers, they’d obviously need their own series just to ensure complete political correctness was observed 😉


There are no women driving full-time in the WEC, which is probably physically more demanding F1.


A good first step. Like others have said, could probably start younger to ensure opportunities aren’t missed.

Also, I’ve never been a big fan of these types of efforts (gender or race-specific only, etc…), but this may be the case where it really is needed. If you set-up a few female only feeder series, and one or a few drivers really dominate their competition, then they will probably get a serious look from established teams in open series. Those drivers might otherwise have never gotten a chance to shine, so it seems to make sense. And those that don’t make it, maybe they end up in motorsports in other capacities after exposure to that world, and that can only be good for everyone.


I’d like to make the comparison with female fighter pilots. There are more and more of them and they’re just as good as their male counterparts. So it’s not a question if women are able to perform at the same level.

That said: there are only 20 seats in F1 and it’s very difficult for any driver to land a seat. However, if an exceptional talent comes along, I doubt teams will look at gender 1st and pace 2nd. If you’re good enough, then you’re good enough.


I’m not sure if you can compare fighter pilots wearing highly technically advanced G Suits to motor racing. The average person (and I mean in general, not the informed readers on this forum) has no comprehension of the physical effort required to drive an F1 car.


Calderon will be working in the Sauber simulator and also attending several Grands Prix to work with engineers, although the deal does not appear to include any test time in the F1 car itself.”

So she isnt actually going to drive the car? I also notice she finished 18th last year in F3. This is 18 places better than I have ever finished but really?

Seems like the wrong candidates are being selected for the wrong reasons. Surely one of the 17 other male/female drivers should have had a shot at the role?

I am all for female drivers. Bring em on. But only if they are quick or quickest…


Did you really finish 36th? Hats off to you!


Yes. It was a big entry list that year 🙂


“With funding from the European Commission…”

Seriously? The EU is funding girls in motor racing. The UK can’t leave – and stop making contributions to – this ridiculous institution quickly enough.


You are quite correct. The UK can’t leave until it agrees to fulfill its responsibilities. So we help pay for it and don’t benefit (until at least 2020 so far). Something everyone knew before the referendum. I have no idea why you are complaining now – clearly, you voted for this disaster.

And, of course, I don’t see anything wrong with promoting equality for women in an age where we are still discriminated against in all areas. A far better use of the formerly 5th richest economy in the world’s money than squandering it on the petulant selfish few who might benefit from removal of the workers rights the EU has enforced.



The rich and affluent need financial support too You know… The EandU are also supporting such noble causes as “Polo for the middle classes” and “My dad is too fat to push my bobsleigh” and “get me another sherpa” for the poorer professional mountainers amongst us…..


Danica Patrick and Simona de Silvestro prove women can participate in high level motorsport IF they are good enough. Apparently they’re not good enough for F1 but they are certainly kicking ass.


The top fastest 50 women in the world would not be as fast (or close to as fast) as the top 50 men. This will remain the fundamental reason why we won’t see many women in the top flight. Biomechanics. The top 50 men in the world will run, drive and swim for longer and faster than the top 50 women in the world. All the PC balls in the world won’t change this.

Can I just say though, there’s definitely women out there who could beat Ericsson. So there you go girls. Get yourself Ericsson money.


What about Michelle Mouton, in Group B rally? She already proved a woman could hang with the top 50 drivers in the world in her time.

If you think the drivers of the WRC in the Group B era we’re not amongst the top 50 drivers in the world at the time, then you have no idea about the history of Motorsport.

On average, women won’t be as fast as men. That doesn’t mean that an exceptional woman can’t come along and beat every single male out there. The odds are stacked against it, but there’s no reason I can’t happen.


Group B was amazing to watch but I’m not sure its as physically demanding as F1. Just taking grip level as a huge difference – Group B was spectacular because of the lack of grip, totally the opposite to F1.

I’m not sure why you’d want one or maybe two exceptional female drivers to compete in F1 when you could have an entire female series opening up so many more possibilities for female drivers. This would percolate down to grass roots level so all those talented girls have a realistic opportunity to follow their dream. Why discriminate?


Any chance we can stop comparing motorsport to actual physical based sports where your body is the PU? It’s a lot less sexist that way, Neil & Hello.


Discriminate….omg, knock it off with that nonsense. I’m not discriminating at all. I’m doing the opposite. I’m saying everyone should compete against each other. You are discriminating against women by saying they are not good enough to compete against men. The irony here is too real.


So by expecting women to compete against men in a physically demanding sport you’re not discriminating?

I assume you’d also like mixed football, golf, athletics etc? Equality should demand that at least?

It’s all a bit silly, words and intentions can be twisted any which way you like. Basically all of us petrol heads would love to see more women involved in the sport we love but I really can’t see that happening without taking the view that most other sports do.


Agreed, one or two outliers could and will come along.



Completely off-topic but I’ve had this question on my mind for some time now: why is it that in the site’s main menu, under Teams, just McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull are listed? What about Mercedes, Renault, etc.? Looks arbitrary and strangely incomplete. Of course I am aware other teams are covered just as well, but it still looks odd.


I suppose it is another creative way for the FIA to spend some of the $100M they got from fining McLaren.

Richard Mortimer



The observation “. . . because not enough girls participate at grass roots and kerting level so the funnel is too narrow, compared to boys.” Leads one to wonder why the decision was taken to limit the program to age 13 and older. By 13 their counterparts are engaged in full competition kart racing. . . ? Perhaps playing catch-up might be considered a bit of a barrier.


@ Boris just below: Paragraph #2 below answers the fundamental question. And the following thoughts flesh it out. Appreciated.


Well, Karting classes are age limited. The continental championships are contested by higher classes of kart, with older drivers and it can get expensive. So that’s probably the demographic where the financial assistance is most needed.


IMO, car racing is one of the few sports where, realistically, a (very special) woman could beat men at the highest level of competition so I applaud all efforts to encourage more girls to get into the sport.

That said, “bringing girls between 13 and 18 years old to motorsport” – while better than nothing – is about 10 years too late to produce potential world champions, which should be the goal.

Because of the cost factor and ‘old boys club’ mentality, the talent pool in motorsport is already diluted enough compared to far more meritocratic sports like soccer, football and basketball. The last thing we need is to dilute it further just to get more pretty faces on the track.

The future of the sport would be better served if the FIA set up grassroots, dirt cheap, dirt track and karting programs for 4 & 5 year olds in Africa, Asia, America and Europe to help unearth and support the human beings who were born to race – regardless of race or gender.

The racing world doesn’t need more Danica Patricks; we need more Max Verstappens and Lewis Hamiltons – with or without lady bits.


Re; Danica Patrick – Actually, she came up through the karting ranks on her own, pretty much as you discuss. I believe her support and encouragement was her father. She went the junior formula car route in Europe, and eventually got into the Indy cars. Her NASCAR run was not any more unsuccessful than some of the good ole’ boys that run at the back consistently. She may have had sponsor advantages because she was a girl. But she competed toe to toe with the guys.


She completely had sponsorship deals because she was an attraction more than a talent. Nevertheless she can drive and compete at that level – no doubt.

Its too bad that she has been promoted because she is a female racer (in a pool of mostly ignorant male XYY racers and promoters) and not because she is a prized talent of a race car driver.

That part of this deal needs to change – the mentality aspect – which I suppose such efforts to promote female drivers – will make headway in the future.


Her father payed for most of her Karting….but they’re also family friends with the Earnhardt family. I’ve heard an interview where she recalled knowing Dale Jr when they were kids. I just mention that to point out that she didn’t come from complete obscurity.


Fully agree. Looks very elitist to begin with when it’s just a few European federations participating in it. When you add the age restrictions, it makes the picture even worse! Lip service is what this appears to be – particularly in light of the grid girls fiasco.


Here is my idea of getting more female drivers in F1:

Every team is required to have a 3-driver line-up, 2 males, 1 female. These 3 drivers are going to share the 2 cars each team currently runs. A third car will be too expensive and the current racing facilities can not accommodate a 3-car team anyway. Each male driver will sit out 3 different races of the 21-race calendar and give the car to the female driver to race on these races. Therefore, each male driver will race 18 of the 21 races, while the female will race 6 of the 21 races (3 races from each of her male teammate). Points will be awarded based on the mixed field results. If the female driver won the race, 25 points, finished 10th, 1 point doesn’t matter she’s first amount all female drivers. Contractor Championship will be decided the same way we have now – 2 cars in 21 races doesn’t matter who the driver is. Male WDC will be decided by the 18 races each drove. Female WDC will be decided by the 6 races each drove. It won’t be fair if only have a mixed WDC because males has 18 races and females has 6 only. We could make each of the 3 drivers race 14 times over the year (each male driver give up 7 race to the female driver). However, they wont be all racing the same 14 races so a mixed WDC would still be not fair. Additional cost to the teams will mostly be the salary of the additional female driver to their current line-up.

Any thoughts James?

Richard Mortimer


No, let’s go the whole hog and have 3-car teams (at the front)! Maybe first 4 teams?


This is a terrible idea. The goal is for women to make it on merit not to be forced in as part of a quota. There is no reason a female driver can’t make it to the top, its just a numbers game. More girls at the grassroots level will result in more getting to the top.

Your idea will just result in inferior drivers being overpromoted. We will have a bunch of drivers a second or more off the pace because they were out of their depth and don’t have the ability. If there was a female driver good enough she’d already be in a car because the commercial a upsides are enormous.


How would you handle trans gender drivers? What if Seb decided he wanted to become Sebrina. Could Ferrari then not hire Kimi, Charles, and Sebrina as their 2 males and a female?

Do you think Seb putting on some eye liner, changing his name, taking some estrogen pills, and maybe chopping off his pitot tube that he’d suddenly lose all his talent and speed?

Or would you discriminate against transgender people, and say that the gender assigned to a person at birth is the gender they must compete under?

I’ve got an idea….how about we just pick the 20 fastest drivers in the word, regardless of sex, gender, race, religion, nationality, etc. Why not just pick the 20 fastest in the world, period. Seems rather simple, almost elegent, to me, wouldn’t you agree?


And the 20 best drivers would still be all men.


Averages tell us it would be more likely to have more males in the top 20 than females. But people are not averages. There’s no scientific evidence available that indicates it is impossible for a female to come along who does not conform to the averages, who had the ability to be amongst the top 20 drivers in the world. Odds are against it, it’s not likely to happen tomorrow, but it is possible.


Quite possibly the worst idea ever?

Who in there right mind would pay to watch a GP where there favourite driver is forced to sit out in the name of diversity. That’s rediculous.


Just to emphasize. I live in Canada. Let’s say #44 is my favourite driver.

Now let’s say, based on putting a strategy together for the whole season, Merc announces that #44 will be sitting out the Canadian GP, and that Susie Wolfe will be taking his place.

Only reasonable response to that is, “thank you for saving me the price of buying a ticket.”

Now imagine you’re an F1 fan, living in canada…and it just so happens that Lewis, Seb, Max, Esteban, Charles, Fernando, and Carlos. ALL happen to be schedualled to sit out the Canadian GP. Seriously, who in their right bloody mind would watch that, never mind PAY to watch that.

Appreciate the effort, but man; put some thought into these ideas 😉


Sounds very contrived to me.

Besides, as soon as you make it a requirement to have a female driver everyone will think that the female driver is there not on merit but because it’s enforced. This view will be strengthened in the event that the women drivers don’t perform on par wth the male drivers, which is likely.


I get moderated if I reply to that load of bullocks the way I want too.


I think I remember in David Coulthard’s book that he said his sister used to beat him.


Vettel’s older sister said she was quite good in cart but couldn’t say no to her little brother when he asked to drive the cart.

The only chance i see for girls racing are school projects. Competition between schools and each school has to send boys and girls.


Here we go again. If any female is good enough they’d already be in formula one without the political correctness garbage.


But isn’t that like saying, any child that is naturally clever enough can go get a degree from Cambridge. However, clearly not every child grows up with the same level of opportunities (money, quality of schooling, encouragement from family, etc) so it doesn’t work out like that.

I think this is about creating more opportunities for girls to get involved in karting and, more importantly, to a spark a child’s interest in such a sport they may otherwise not have considered.

If you take women’s football or the paraolympics as examples, 15 or 20 tears ago, these barely existed. Nowadays it’s much more mainstream and popular and women or people with disabilities now see these sports as something they can aspire to do.


I’m guessing none of these girls will be

1. From a council estate.

2. Unattractive

3. Have parents who are in need of money from the EU.


Face it, even the best boy has no chance if he has no connections to teams and sponsors.

How many of the drivers had not a father or uncle who was a driver? How many of the drivers had no easy access to a race track when they were kids?

How many drivers are from a country which doesn’t own a race track?


Yes the cream should rise to the top but F1 cream needs to be spotted early and then fully supported.

Didn’t somebody once say that the best driver in the world is probably driving a tractor in a field in Uzbekistan (or words to that effect).


If you want women competing at the elite levels then you need women only race series. I know it is such a radical idea for some but just about every other sport does it.


This is all getting very monotonous and boring. Of course women should not be held back if they have the talent! I thought that was the way of the world these days, the best get to the top… male or female.

PC out of control imo.


PC out of control – lol.

We all know that being talented isn’t enough to get you in to F1 you need to be bankrolled either by your multimillionaire parents or well-connected to get put on a driving programme. Of course a couple of drivers do get in despite this. At the moment we get some exceptional male drivers overlooked, because they don’t have the right connections or money. Then we don’t get any women in, because women have to be beyond exceptional and the men can just be average.

Surely if you want the best drivers in F1 you would support this endeavour wholeheartedly. Alongside other programmes that help find the great drivers from less well off backgrounds. After all, the more opportunities there are, the more talent that could be found and nurtured. As well as a woman world champion, we might be able to find another black F1 driver (who’d have thought there would only have been one person with black heritage to be quick enough to drive an F1 car in almost 70 years of motorsport)!

Imagine an F1 race filled with the genuine best 20 drivers in the world. It would be even better than the F1 we have now.


I’d just like to know the reason for such initiatives. Is it that there is a strong interest in motor sports among girls and they are having trouble getting in? Or is there an attempt to make girls interested in the sport? If the interest is generally not there, what next? But obviously, if girls are interested, they should be encouraged, right from the lowest level, which I guess is carting.


Bit of positive discrimination would be terrific here – eg liberty giving £Xm to a team that has a female driver. Everyone would benefit.


In general I support this initiative. One question remains though. Didn’t the F1 drivers tell us after last years changes to the cars that it was physically way more demanding then ever before ? And if so, doesn’t this almost automatically limit the accessibility of F1 for woman ? I mean that in athletic and other competitions woman and man are separated and having there own races is due to the same reason. What are your thoughts on that James ?

Jonathan Barker

Hi James,

I don’t understand the drive to have a woman in F1. All other international sports have ‘women’s events’ – there’s women’s football, snooker, judo etc. etc. Would it not make far more sense to set up a Women’s F1, with supporting women’s junior categories. This would instantly draw more women into the sport. Why is this obvious way forward never discussed? You never hear Eddie Jones bemoaning the lack of women in men’s rugby, it wouldn’t happen – there is now a successful women’s rugby game at international level instead. Any thoughts?


Would it not make far more sense to set up a Women’s F1, with supporting women’s junior categories. This would instantly draw more women into the sport. Why is this obvious way forward never discussed?

Exactly. It would work. Have the races on a Saturday or on Sunday morning before the men.


Womens soccer, Womens Rugby, Womens cricket, Hokey, Basket ball, Wrestling, Judo, boxing.

It’s about time Motor Racing caught up.


What a load of rubbish.

If a female driver was out there that was fast enough to be competitive they’d already be in F1. Offering women a leg up because they are women is the most sexiest example of sexism your likely to see.

My wife who is a senior executive at a large insurance brokers informs me that there is clear evidence that women are safer drivers than men and receive cheaper insurance as a result. Point is men are physiologically more likely to take risks than women.

Not %100 but the vast majority.

F1 allows men and women to compete along side one another unlike rugby or football or tennis just to mention a few.

If your good enough your good enough.

I mean can you imagine the marketing valve of having a competitive female driver in your team,you’d be mad not to.


It would be good to have some high caliber women in an F1 car. They might make some of the pay drivers look very average. One day there will be a woman WC, hopefully while I’m still alive. It would also bring in some women related advertisers, which would be good for the sport. Maybe a female Senna reincarnated or Fangio.


What if we had Kim karcashian in the second Mercedes?


I just had a horrible thought, Kim Kardashian approaching Claire Williams with £20M ready to hand over….


Don’t think Roscoe would approve of that.


Bad Kenneth!!!

Don’t even go there.


I am highly disappointed on behalf of all good female racing drivers that FIA chose Carmen Jorda to represent female drivers for them. Carmen Jorda does not believe herself that males and females can compete equally well in motorsport, and has been very vocally outspoken about that. Despite this FIA chose this beautiful (and so what? the gridgirls were sent off because of what?) but clearly motorsport-challenged Carmen Jorda to head their female commission. Other female racing drivers that frequently beat their male peers are certainly not happy with this choice by FIA. And why were they not even asked?

FIA could hardly have found anybody less qualified to represent women in motorsport!
Which of course resulted in uproar from other women in motorsport that do already compete on equal terms and doing well by doing so.

And the problem is not that she is ‘beautiful’. Or that her Instagram-profile looks more like one for a fitnessmodel and with all the sponsor adds she cheakedly blends in with it to earn extra cash. Or that she still gets invited to the F1 GPs as decoration (so what about the gridgirls???) like in Monaco where she was hired together with the Brazil supermodel Adriana Lima to make tours with and poses in front of all photographers.

The real problem is her lack of skill behind a steering wheel !
Carmen Jorda has never won one single race ever!
Not even a single point did she manage to score when she from 2012 drove in GP3 for 3 seasons!
That in itself is maybe her most astounding performance!

In the UK you have e.g. Pippa Mann who has driven in Indi 500, scored points in Formelu Renault and won races in Indy Lights. She wrote openly:
“Dear FIA. If what I hear is correct, that you have promoted a racing driver that never have realized any results and who does not believe we can compete on equal terms in this sport, then I am deeply disappointed!”
Regards an Indy500-qualifier and Indy Lights-race winner.

Carmen Jorda has repeatedly said in interviews that women cannot compete with men in motorsports due to physical differences. While she was hired as eye-candy for the money-strained Lotus she said to Sky: I really believe that women have a natural disadvantage compared to men. That is why males and females in many sports have separate championships.

Pippa Mann concluded:
Carmen Jorda’s comments are an honest evaluation of her own personal results. Not a summary of our results as a gender. To see a person with such attitude be chosen to represent women in motorsport is very disappointing.

As Leena Gade, race engineer and first female in that role, part of the Le Mans winning Audi team in 2011 wrote as response to Carmen Jorda: I chose to compete in a male-dominated sport, like many other females have done across motorsport classes. We want to be the best, measured both against males and females. Are you not up to it, then play in another sport!

The prior chairman for females at FIA Michele Mouton was also not very fond of Carmen Jorda, when Carmen was at Lotus and the Renault team in F1. Michele Mouton said of women that has the level and attitude to drive in F1 she mentioned: Simona de Silvestro, Danica Patrick, Susie Wolff and potentially Beitske Visser who at that time did well in Formula Renault. Michele Mouton won several rally races in her own racing career and continued: These women have all realized very good results during their motorsport careers. Other less successful girls have succeeded to climb up the motorsport ladder of influence due to marketing potentials and politics. And that I have no interest in.

Also worth noticing that when Carmen Jorda was assigned as development driver at the Lotus/Renault team her fastest lap times in the simulator were allegedly 12 (twelve!) seconds slower than their male development driver Marco Sorensen who left that team because of the gender preferential treatments of Jorda vs himself despite her obvious lack of ability.

Carmen Jorda answered in the Spanish press that she had no clue who he was and she had not seen him at Enstone. She at the same time said that she was within 1 second of the simulator times set by Grosjean. She also said that this Mr Sorensen better focus on his own career instead of dropping dirt on other fellow drivers.

Marco Sorensen probably did that, as after this he became 2016 world champion in the WEC’s GTE Pro-class driving for Aston Martin.
Carmen Jorda’s last race was in the same year 2016, where she participated in the Renault Sport Trophy in the Amateur class. Her best result that season was 8th in a race against other true amateurs.

So is she a great ambassador for other female racing drivers that wants to and manage to compete on equal terms?
No – definitely not !



My best guess why FIA picked Carmen Jorda over Pippa Mann is that Pippa competed and did well in the series that isn’t sanctioned by FIA.


FIA most definitely did NOT chose Carmen Jorda to represent them..!


Very surprised James, but willing to learn!
As even your own motherhood brought these news as it was indeed FIA who had appointed Carmen Jorda back in December last year!

Here just one of the articles about the subject. Even the link kept the clear indicator that it was FIA:


Then who did pick her??


Not sure – odd one


Almost all F1 drivers including Alonso started as a pay driver. Looking at the junior records of the pay driver and comparing them to the Junior records of Susie Wolf or Tatiana Calderon should be very enlightening to you especially when you realize that the worst of the current lot, i.e Lance Stroll has won 26 races in junior category before his F1 debut compare that to 0 race wins for susie wolf over a 14 years career and 2 wins for Tatiana Calderón over a 8 years career.

Tatiana Calderón has finished 21th in 2016 and 18th in 2017 in GP3 and really needs to step it up this year if she is to be considered a potential F1 recruit.


Do you need a superlicense to test? There’s no way she’d get one to race with current results.

There have been very many great female drivers in karts, and in the very physical KZ classes of karting too. I’d be surprised if F1 is more physical than KZ, stamina yes, but sheer effort I’d think not.

Not enough females stay involved into later karting years, and therefore don’t progress into cars, so that needs to be looked at, and for someone to decide if there’s an issue or not. No one is currently actively stopping women progressing as far as I can see, so it’s a lack of numbers thing through the various car formulas.

I’d like it looked at from that perspective i.e. are they being stopped in comparison to men? I don’t like positive discrimination of any sort, prefer to identify the issue and deal with that.


This may not be a popular opinion, but I applaud the effort. Motorsports can be competitive no matter the sex of the driver. The problem has been the image of motorsports that is largely male oriented. It’s time for this sport to enter the 21st century.


Mate as a father of a young daughter and as a human it’s disgusting to see how male oriented the world has become. Especially since the rise of the likes of Trump and his followers around the world. F1 can send a message to the world by introducing F1 championship racing category just for women like all the other competitive global sports. Bernie suggested that once I recall. It will be good even if it’s like a 6-10 race championship with shorter races. Until that happens, I don’t see women driver in F1 ever unfortunately.


Can only be a good thing.


Just to qualify my previous post….’subject to being supported on merit without any preferential gender qualifications’.


I don’t like these “encourage girls” programs that are popping up everywhere. Not just in Motorsport but in schools and in universities as well.

I belive that not only is such an approach divisive, but it also presents a false picture of what is really happening in society. And what is happening is that there is simply no evidence that women are being oppressed by men and disadvantaged in any endeavour whatsoever. In fact, the opposite is true. If a girl shows an interest in something like Motorsport everybody seems to bend over backwards to accomodate her. We saw that with Gracie, De Angelou and De Silvestro. In the UK I belive that there are still scholarships in engineering that are only available to women.

As for the boys. There is plenty of evidence that they are getting left behind. They are doing worse at school, they are now outnumbered by women at universities, they are more likely to be unemployed and are now being out-earned by women for the first time in recorded history.

I’m all for exposing as many young people to Motorsport as possible and making it as affordable as possible, but I don’t belive in segregating them into genders and giving them special treatment based on gender.


@LukeC- I’m assuming your response is specific to F1 and possibly in UK. Even so, why do you think there are female football team, cricket team, golf, tennis, Olympic sports etc? And how do you suggest F1 can have a full time race driver in a F1 car on Sunday afternoon racing for the race win or championship like every other men? Or do you think only because the world lived with it for 60 years, we should just continue the same way?


I’m looking forward to see similar initiative from fashion industry to get more male involved, or from retail industry to get more male to the shopping malls (on their own, rather than being dragged there by their better halves).

One can make as many initiatives as they want, but simple hard wired nature of us is what does (most of the time) the selection.

I hope this one will produce good female driver(s), although entrance age 13-18 is at least 5 years (probably 10) too late.

Motorsport is a sport, just like equestrian, where gender shouldn’t make a difference. If boys are starting karting at age 4-5, so should girls,

If FIA is really behind this project, they should finance it as well. If nothing else, to prove they are serious about it, rather than just being on the PC boat, as it seems.

Heck, they should entirely finance any form of entry level motorsport, regardless of gender participating, all over the world, especially in the countries without big motorsport tradition, or opportunities. Without it, we’ll never know how many talented drivers, say, Mongolia, or Albania has.


Agree 100% with this.


Laurence H… Please don’t post articles that are clearly lies. Any article that claims that women only earn 80% of what men earn deserves to be consigned to the trash. I mean, that particular myth has been so comprehensively and so extensively debunked that it boggles the mind that it still persists.

For your information, the so called gender pay gap is calculated by averaging the earning of men vs the earnings of women, but does not take into account the fact that women in general work fewer hours, take longer holidays and choose less physically demanding and less dangerous jobs, which pay less.

If you account for all these factors the gender pay gap evaporates. In fact, if you look at Millenials and y-gen populations in the west, women actually earn more than men on average.

I don’t know why you seem to have this desire to believe that women are being opressed by men, but it simply isn’t true.


I believe that not only is such an approach divisive, but it also presents a false picture of what is really happening in society

@LukeC – I partly agree with the bit about being divisive, but when the disparity is excessive, for a short while (at-least till representation seems balanced) It is safe to do go down this route. Specialized programs that specifically seem out of the ordinary, making a lot of women who never gave racing a thought – wonder if they may enjoy racing.

I find the problem historical yes, but it still continues to plague society in the modern world in the form of children’s toys – specifically the belief of buying toy cars for young boys and dolls for girls. So cars probably do not end up being an object of fascination for many children because their imagination may not have been captured enough by them. However in those homes where such gender differentiation while buying toys is not seen – things are more natural.

Off course, just because someone is given toy cars as a kid does not necessarily mean the person will grow up interested in cars, but at least motor vehicles are better represented to the child’s imagination as a valid option of interest

So yes, if you have children.. consciously observe your OWN patterns regarding the above perhaps? Over time this will naturally balance everything.


Why hasn’t someone come up with “better” toys for girls? Don’t women/girls have insight into this and can’t they make a toy for girls?

What parent would not buy a girl the toy she wants?

This actually is interesting. We’re assuming a car is a better toy than a doll, but is it? Don’t you find this whole F1 thing a bit silly and childish? What does it contribute to humanity vs. what a doll contributes – compassion and ability to care and raise a new human being? F1 is useless compared to that.


on Behalf of F1 and creativity.. Ill answer you Sebee! 😀

What use is ONLY compassion and care in world WITHOUT intrigue, challenge and CREATIVITY left in it?

Creativity, innovation and experiencing newer and newer experience is the raison d’être of the universe! The only reason for it to Exist in the first place.. and that which fuels it to live on.

Compassion and care is what SUSTAINS the whole CREATIVE Platform. So BALANCE is what is needed 🙂

And no, I do not find F1 childish.. while you are crying about hybrids.. I am wondering about when F1 will get beyond the electric phase and bring in Hydrogen Fuel cells or God knows what is Next to capture our collective imagination 😀 Sure like you I love the tech of the days gone by.. but they are respectfully preserved as a part of history and ALWAYS will be.

The universe.. does not care to experience the same experiences again and again. After an experience has been consumed enough, the Universe ALWAYS DISCARDS the old with CRUSHING power and craves Newer more Complex experiences. Nothing inside this Universe ever defies that truth 😉


There Nomad, I will now go the way of the V10, and retire from commenting. It’s been fun.

@Sebee.. I understand your wish to “retire from commenting” as you call it. Anything that is started, always comes to an end I guess. Adios, we shall remember you for that one post of yours on the old forum that was funny and had received almost 30,000 upvotes! 😀 that was some crazy moment in time and space huh?


Just read a wonderful article….

…with this paragraph, which adds to our exchange here. So I bring it to your attention.

“Like a Morgan or an Ariel Atom, Sevens have long generated copies and crowds at car shows, because they suggest the gut feelings that put humans on wheels in the first place. Plus why car enthusiasts tend to fetishize the past—when the automobile as a whole was more awed, but less of a filter between you and the road.”

Yeah…that’s it. All this technology, engine modes deploying ERS and engaging braking/recovery, software guys writing the perfect code for each track, telling drivers when to drive, it’s all gaining tenths. And yet it’s EXACTLY like the best singer in the world performing a lyp-sych concert for us.



Nomad, don’t want to comment here anymore, but your comment is thoughtful response to me before my decision, and deserves a response.

I hear what you’re saying. Change is constant. Evolution. All that fundamental stuff.

Except, we’re human beings. We have certain tendencies and that is well illustrated in our live entertainment choice when a band comes to town for example. Go ahead, tell U2 to not play their old hits. Tell any band to not go back to their songs and play completely new unheard content at a show. Tell people to stop buying “Dark Side of the Moon” because it is so old. The examples are endless.

That’s what is happening here with this “new’ F1. And fans don’t want to it, and don’t want to pay for it. I certainly don’t.

Formula 1 has gone a capella, plays some new house-cleaning instruments, put up thick bars in front of the performers now, and with engine modes these drivers are lip-synching more than ever. Who cares that the concert is powered by unicorns and rainbows instead of oil?

Also, I’ve just about had enough of this idea that F1 develops anything. It does’t. F1 is a follower, and that’s the honest truth. Hybrids were here as a ready to buy product for a decade and a half before F1 woke up to it. Battery technology F1 adopts to these Hybrids has been developed outside of F1. F1 has contributed nothing to sellable hybrid products. It will contribute nothing to electrification nor hydrogen. I actually don’t believe we’ll go to hydrogen for personal transportation. Mercedes, the dominator of this PU era has not turned this PU technology into a product that benefits humanity. And that’s after 7 years developing it for F1, and 5 years in actual sport. Over a decade of Mercedes working on the PU and they can’t turn it into a sellable product? Not under the Mercedes brand. Not under the AMG brand, with top selling V8 engine and V12s available. And not under EQ brand, which has so far announced a 100% Electric SUV for 2019 and Smart cars, also 100% Electric and autonomous. So much for PU being road relevant. I can’t believe people look at F1, see the acceleration and more importantly braking forces, which allow the “efficiency” PU claims, and they don’t realize that such forces and such opportunities for energy recovery simply don’t exist in our every day commute driving, ever.

We’re in the 5th year of this PU, and no one dare do a real audit of the “green” credentials of the technology, because it would be exposed and fall flat on its face on all these claims. It saves 45kg of fuel during the grand prix when you’re watching. It probably wastes quadruple that to V8s or V10s in all the backend stuff you don’t see.

Here is two bits of info that I came across in past week that I found fascinating.


Speaking with Auto Express, CEO Sergio Marchionne said that “a Ferrari V8 hybrid is coming for 2019. The test mules are around now.” He also said that it “needs to become more of a traditional hybrid to fulfill a different role.”

There you go, wonderful F1 PU technology – V8 as a sellable product. They will stick some electric motors on the front axle and a battery to pay lip service to “hybrid” while selling V8s. I even wonder if that silly Project One marketing car ever actually ships, and what a disappointment it will be when it ships, as owners find out that maximum power can only be sustained for 30s or whatever it will be. Already we know the new Tesla Roadster is going to completely destroy it in every performance metric, and it will do so at less than 10% of the price.


Heavy-duty vehicles represent 10 percent of the global fleet but 50 percent of transportation emissions.

Ain’t that something. So F1 is claiming savings at the track while you watch, but what’s happened in the transport side as more hardware, more weight, more people, software guys go to the track? Care to guess?

So I agree with your idealistic pursuit of new technologies that benefit human kind. I want to see the wasteful car fleet of today, which sits idle 96% of the time parked and not utilized, optimized for us to save us time, free up space, remove 75% of the cars off the roads. This is doable, and will be done soon. But your can be sure IT WILL NOT be done by Formula 1.

In the mean time, I am sick and tired of a bunch of guys going in circles around the track to entertain me being held to some divine environmental mission. If that is the goal, the ultimate destination is to stop doing it. Not doing it, and not transporting all that “wonderful” hybrid PU hardware, and people, and software guys, and spares, and fans going to the track would really be the green thing to do, wouldn’t it? So let’s stop with the lip service and get real.

Oh, and if universe doesn’t care to experience the same thing over again, what’s with the boom/bust, echo, waves, ripples thing?

I won’t get into too much philosophy here, but anything that doesn’t register the passing of time can’t even observe what it is that we’re doing here, much less care how it’s being done.

There Nomad, I will now go the way of the V10, and retire from commenting. It’s been fun.


I don’t know where to begin to address the outright sexist crap you are spewing. None of anything you said has no basis in reality or fact. I think I will simply say that it must be really hard dealing with your insecurity as a male. I think you need to go back to the 50’s and stay there Archie Bunker!


BobW… Any reason why you chose to attack my personality instead of responding to the content of my post?

Believe me I’ve done a lot of research on this subject and as an educator for over a decade I know what I’m talking about.


As an educator with an advanced degree, I stand by my words. Your post was rife with misogynist rhetoric.

“I belive that not only is such an approach divisive, but it also presents a false picture of what is really happening in society. And what is happening is that there is simply no evidence that women are being oppressed by men and disadvantaged in any endeavour whatsoever.”

That has to be the most pathetic lie I have ever seen aside from Trump’s utterances. I think you need to back up and open a current text regarding social justice and women’s issues.

So, that is why I chose to be personal about it. PEACE OUT Archie!


An attack on an opponent’s character is an ad hominem, which is a logical fallacy.

People usually resort to ad hominems when they are not able to rebut an opponents arguement.


Can you provide factual evidence of how men are oppressing women in 2018.

What hurdles are males placing in the way of females that is preventing them from becoming racecar drivers.

Enough with the Virtue Signalling already. Harping on about how oppressed women are will not help you get laid tonight, so give it up.



Go to any shopping centre anywhere and count the male/female ratio. Are there more women there because they have been oppressed as children by society and would rather be at a gokart or because their instincts to feather nests and look nice are stronger than those for a male?

Go find a kart track on a rainy sunday and note the ratio of dads to mums push starting their kids in the pouring rain.

Would these men rather be in the shopping centre?

Surely there is a general difference between what interests boys what interests girls. Most girls I would imagine think motorsport is a daft and pointless pursuit and not worth getting wet for on a cold sunday. Not because they are oppressed and men dont want them there. Your average karter loves seeing a girl having a go and kart clubs bend over backwards to make girls feel part of their club and are pekud as punch if they have girl racers. Sadly too few girls find the mechanical side of karting interesting and seem less interested in spending time in a cold garage changing piston rings on a saturday night before a race. They have better things to do and need to get on in their social lives. It appears to me that there are more boys than girls who have that dogged tenacity to overcome a bit of hardship (e.g. getting wet) to reach a certain goal. Girls in my opinion are just a bit smarter and avoid those situations more often if they can. In general I might add. It doesnt make them better or worse… just different… to boys.

And that’s my opinion.


But your facts are offensive, so…


And yet, he’s currently #1 with 37 votes, more than twice the next post. Perhaps he’s not sexist, but rather on to something. Though I’ll agree that citing any of the fact-based evidence he referenced would’ve been helpful, especially as there’s plenty of it to cite.


Thanks for the comment. Indeed I am onto something and it looks as though I’m far from being the only one.

As for posting references I agree that this can help in some situations but not always. But as you say there is plenty of evidence out there to find and so anyone with an Internet can easily satisfy himself or herself.


@ Luke C i fully agree with what you’ve posted.Bob W is totally out of order. Healthy and vigorous debate is the cornerstone of civilised discourse and he has overstepped the mark here. Like you i’m totally fed up with all the PC madness that seems to have invaded every corner and crevice of modern society. Every time someone puts up a counter claim or opposing idea they are immediately labelled, misogynist/racist/ sexist et al. It’s not on, not in my world. Re engineering society to suit the asinine aspirations of minorities should be consigned to the dustbin, the natural home of ideas such as this.


Yep, it’s called reverse discrimination and I tend to agree.

Regardless, sure we want a female driver in F1 but you can’t just click your fingers and make it happen.

When there is a female who has the interest to be in motorsport in the first place and the speed to make it into F1 (and I mean properly into F1, not just as a PR exercise) then it will happen.

Besides, why is everyone acting like there’s never been a female racing in F1 before? 😐

Fulveo Ballabeo

Interest. Speed. And don’t forget money! That’s the same, regardless of gender. Plenty of drivers out there with interest, speed, and not enough money.

Something tells me that if Chloe Stroll wanted to be an F1 driver…she would be!


Nah – parents would buy her a pony!


Yep, we can’t forget about the money and yes, you have it in exactly the right order 🙂


LukeC, there are places women are being oppressed by men and that is bad. But overall you have brought a serious point about men that is happening in America.

It is worth watching…


Interesting that the Saudi Arabians have just started to let women drive….who knows what hidden talents there are…trouble is, driving in a ‘burka’ would be a hazard!!!!


no worse than the halo!


Not sure about a burka kenneth, but I did find that when I used to wear glasses they were a definite hazard – Peripheral vision went straight up the creek 😐


It can’t be that bad.

Surely driving in a burka is the same as driving with a mosquito net on your Halo.


hahahahah good one Mick.


There is no difference between the sexes, hence why boys wear dresses. All of this nonsense about female drivers is so unprofeessive, The scientific consesnus of the last 40 years is that there is no biological difference between men and waken.

Alonso is a bearded lady. There’s been a woman in F1 this whole time, and we’ve just been fooled.


@ Twitch6…i’ll still run with the chromosomic variables….XX and XY are still good enough markers for me.


Not entirely sure if you’re being serious or not Twitch, so we’ll have a Schrodinger’s reply:

Of course there’s a biological difference between males and females, but that shouldn’t mean that there has to be sociological differences too.

And LOL 🙂


Hi James, do you see Calderon getting a drive ever? If not her, then do you see any prospects coming through who could get a drive? Jamie Chadwick perhaps?


Look at her F3 / GP3 record so far and you’ll conclude she doesn’t have much talent. Add in the fact that she’s 25 and it’s pretty clear the Alfa role is essentially a PR exercise.


One of the best karter’s that I raced against was a female. We referred to her as a racer not so much a “girl”.

Mature societies tend to view things that way.


Horner says that Max V’s Mum was one of the best matters he raced against!


That’s funny. I think she was better than Jos at the time.


Pretty much everybody was better than Jos at that time.


It’s a pity that Sauber-Alfa didn’t allow Calderon a bunch of no pressure, unknown fuel, no laptipe comparison laps, to assist with their testing programme, even if it was at the end of the test after their race drivers had finished their stints. She has raced Charles before so the next step must be to get at least some experience on track.


How long before pretty girls are banned from this program?

Oh..only pretty girls will be in the program because they are marketable?

I’m confused.


There is no ban on attractive women any more than there is a ban on handsome men.


Want to bet on it?


Tell that to the models who were the Grid Girls.


That’s not a blanket ban on attractive women. There’s not even a ban on all women in promotional roles at F1. Williams (random name off the top of my head) could hire a bus load of “hostesses” for their hospitality lounge.


Hi James, How were those 8 countries selected? Did they self-select or put in the best bid or did they meet a set of criteria about the strength or weakness of their motorsport? Did the Italians not apply or write a weaker bid or did they not receive an invitation, for example? Not axe-grinding, just curious, having been involved in EU funded multi-country projects in the past, and that list of 8 perhaps not being ‘the usual suspects’. You don’t need to explain why the UK’s not there 😉 Thanks, and keep up the good work 🙂


Good question! Will ask


I wonder why their isn’t more initiatives to have female Dustbin men or sewage workers, these professions seem to be even less diverse then motor racing.


You want to get around a bit more! In Spain there are as many women sweeping roads, emptying bins, working with sewage, laying concrete on roads (mostly by hand not with automatic machines) as there are men. The biggest problem here is shortage of money (and sponsors) in the volumes needed for motor sport. Also despite Alonso and Saintz F1 does not have a fanatical public perception. Football, tennis, rallying and motorbikes are the big sports.


How many women are there racing in MotoGP?


99% of the world’s dangerous jobs are done by men. Hell and we don’t even live as long,………… and now we can’t even touch up women. What’s the world coming to?


You got that wrong. You can’t flirt, chat up, make a clumsy pass, or read the signs wrong with a girl/woman, because if you do and she gets the hump over it, the local constabulary will be feeling your collar and you’ll be on the sex offenders register quicker than any bird in a Formula 1 car.☺

Progressive liberals don’t you just love them?


Can’t even touch up women? Sure you can. As long as the woman wants to be touched. That’s all that #metoo is about really. It’s a movement that shouldn’t need to exist.


So if Brad Pitt comes on to a woman it’s fine. Were as if a poor ugly guy tries it he gets shafted.

There’s was a TV news piece claiming that a man had been suspended from his work because a woman reported him for “Unwanted sexual advances”. UNWANTED” Not sexual assault but the guy tried to come on to a woman and got shot down. Her disgust of him was enough?

I’m starting a “Metoo” movement for men. It’s for men who told the woman that they didn’t want any children ever,………. but guess what they got pregnant anyway. “Oh, how did this happen honey?

I know of at least two women who sensed their man was setting to leave and guess what happened next? These are just the two who later omitted what they did. This trick is as old as time itself. Destroy at least 3 lives to satisfy your base urge. It’s the same as rape.

Anyway I was only joking above about touching up women. I’m just pushing back. (Pushing back like a woman trying to “trap check” her man with pregnancy).

Like this post if your a man and suspect you’ve been “trapped checked” by a woman at some point.


@bobster. I never mentioned your wife and her level of commitment to you. Why did you bring it up Bob? What’s bothering you Bob?


@ Bobster ‘the woman should be alowed to make some choices for herself’….Then how come girls on the grid were banned by Liberty males and supported by Todt. Were they given a choice? Did anyone think to ask them?


I think what youare failing to acknowledge is that the woman should be allowed to make some choices for herself.

And that if you’re not attractive to a woman as Brad Pitt is and she rejects your advances, then that’s not her problem.

Meantime, I’m not nearly as handsome as Brad Pitt, nor anywhere near his wealth, yet I have a wife who loves me. So look on the bright side.


FIA can’t do anything for those aspiring to such jobs.


How about the fact that there are women in special operations and Ranger units? How come you aren’t doing something like that? Let’s see you survive Ranger School.


Survive ranger school by passing the female standards, or the male standards.

When I was in the military, the physical requirements for females was almost 1/2 of that of males.

No joke. Male minimum push-ups were 29, female minimum was 16. Males had to do at least 100 full sit-ups, women 65. Men had to reach, iirc, level 9 on the Beep Test, women had to get to level 5 or 6.

Let me tell you, there’s nothing more disheartening than running a Beep Test, reaching the end of level 5, watching all the girls drop out, while every single guy must push on, for almost 2x as long. I don’t remember the numbers, but both the agility test, and the grip strength test, again, the women had lower standards.

And it doesn’t matter how many women are in the Rangers while the country isn’t involved in a major conflict (and Afghanistan ain’t it). Let’s see how well these women handle combat when WW3 pops off. Everyone is so convinced that they can do the same job as men, but it’s never even been put to the actual test yet. But it’s cool. Next time the draft gets instituted, I’ll stay home and look after the kids, Jill and Susie can take a bound with Charlie company (if you don’t know, in the military, the phrase “Charlie take a bound,” basically means that Charlie company is going to be sacrificed to save the rest of the platoon).


At BobW…..try answering Neil’s question first before de-railing the conversation – he make a valid point as to why “gender equalization” programs are only targeted at high profile careers and not other careers where are even more gender segregation namely municipal workers. Gender equality should be across the career spectrum….else it is just prejudice.


Come on. There’s always been jobs that are considered suitable for women and jobs that aren’t. We might ask why there’s no such word as “charman” when there is a word charlady.

And how FIA are supposed to do something about equality in the sewage trade is beyond me. They CAN do something about opening up motor sports.


Hmmm, is it fair that a young driver may get extra sponsorship purely because of her gender? Motor racing is extremely expensive for young males and females, the chances of getting into F1 are extremely remote for anyone in karting, not sure why girls should get help unavailable to boys. In my view the funding should go to talented youngsters (whatever their gender) from disadvantaged backgrounds who would have no chance of making it on their own. At some point people need to realise that the dearth of girls getting involved in motorsport has a lot more to do with it being a sport that attracts boys more than girls, than any kind of prejudice.


Exactly. Last time I checked kart prices, entry fees, tyres, etc were exactly the same for males and females, and there’s no discrimination against girls. By all means try and get more girls into karting (the MSA and CIK are doing their damnest to kill karting anyway with proliferation and fragmentation of classes, and high costs). One track in Scotland has done an outstanding job on attracting youngsters both male and female via schools and other promotions. One of the girls has kicked all the boys arses through at least three different classes so far – talent, not money. Promote karting at school from 6 years onwards and see how many girls and boys take it up.


This is similar to the arguments made about Affirmative Action programs in my home country, South Africa.

There are (broadly speaking) two ways of looking at this

1) There are no rules now that place obstacles in a person’s way, so let them get on with it and the cream will rise to the top

2) There is a historic imbalance that needs to be corrected so that the groups that were previously disadvantaged (whether by legislation or by practice) get a more equal representation which ensures that going forwards everybody gets a better chance and a fairer share of the pie.


As this relates to #2, I think this is the best way as it isn’t mandating that 3 drivers in a series must be female, or some other rule that would keep others out, they just set-up an environment/series that lets offers more opportunities to women to enter and compete in motorsports.


Bobster, I don’t think there is any inbalance to be addressed in motorsport, has there ever been any barriers to women entering the sport? Karting and the lower formulae are completely open to anyone who can aford to enter, the teams in those series are more than happy to sell drives to anyone. F1 is different, but the great thing about motorsport is it is ruled by data. If a young woman was capable of delivering the same lap times and results as Verstappen, the teams would be fighting over her signature as they are for his.

The only barrier that needs to be removed is the one that prevents kids from poor backgrounds getting into the sport, making funding available to help those kids would be a much better thing to do in my opinion.


Bobster… What is this historical imbalance that needs to be corrected with regard to women in Motorsport? It’s demonstrably true that men never stood in women’s way in Motorsport, or in any endeavour whatsoever.

I mean who made it impossible for Michelle Mouton to succeed? She showed an interest in Motorsport and happened to be good at it and was given as good an opportunity as Walter Rohrl to succeed and she nearly beat him to the championship.

I’m getting sick and tired of these constant insuinuatuons that men are opressing women. As a man I find it deeply offensive as I have never in my life endeavoured to opress anyone. On top of that it is a biological fact that men are hardwired to take care of women and to defer to them and to give them what they want to make them happy.

And with regard to addressing historical imbalances. How far should we go with that? Should we, for example, sell white people as slaves to black people to address that particular unpleasant historical imbalance? And if so, are you volunteering?


The idea behind AA (which, in SA, includes women and disabled people) is not to drag anybody down, but to give everybody an equal shot at the best outcome. So, to answer your question, the idea is not to have white slaves, but to have more black or female CEOs.


Booster… I wouldn’t say that there is necessarily any engineering going on. I mean, what is the engineering going on that results in the majority of nurses being female? What is the engineering going on that results in the majority of coal miners being male?

If you knew anything about those perceived echelons of professional success, you would know that CEO positions are not handed on a platter. To get there those men had to make massive life sacrifices, consistently putting in 70 hour weeks for decades and forgoing such pleasures as holidays and even family time with their wives and kids.

Generally speaking women are not prepared to make such sacrifices, and in those cases where they have, they have also made it to the top echelons of their chosen professions.


Bobster. The only workable method of increasing the number of ‘none white’ CEOs is to increase access to education for children from that ethnic group, and wait a couple of decades for the effect to kick in. Trying to artificially increase the numbers quickly by forcing companies to hire people in senior positions on the basis of their ethnicity as opposed to their experience and qualifications can have disastrous effects for the companies involved.

Efforts to increase the number of women in senior roles can be equally ruinous. Joining the cut throat world of big business and putting in the kind of hours required to make it to the top, are – like motor racing and skateboarding – things that are simply more attractive to men than women. The gender imbalance seen in boardrooms in the UK is mirrored in the intake to our business studies and economics degree courses. I don’t know how it is in South Africa, but British universities are a bastion of political correctness and ‘right on’ thinking, I assure you that no young woman is at a disadvantage in being accepted on to those courses, and yet the mis match remains in both the intake, and applicants.


I’m not, myself, a fan of engineering outcomes. But I am a fan of engineering opportunities.

And frankly, in a country where 80% of people are non-white and 50% are women, if the vast majority of CEOs are white males, then there is some sort of engineering going on, wouldn’t you say?

Unless you’re going to start arguing about how different races are “hard wired” differently and so are suited to different roles. That stuff gets tricky quickly, as the Apartheid government started finding out.


The idea might be to have more black and or female CEOs. But what if it just so happens that all the best qualified CEOs happen to be white males despite there being a vast number of black and or female candidates for those CEO positions.

Then in order to have more black and or female CEOs you would have to drag those men down, wouldn’t you? And that is the contentious aspect of social engineering of the type that you propose.


I was just reading about skate boarding. Did you know that there are relatively few female, pro skateboarders. The article I read was about Atita Verghese, who is Indian. But it’s not just an Indian problem, it’s all over. Even in the USA there are comparatively few.

So why is that? Broadly speaking, there are two possibilities.

1) Women are no good at skate boarding. They just can’t do it for whatever reason.

2) They are potentially as good, but it’s harder for them to enter the sport and/or be taken seriously.

(2) is what programs like FIA’s attempt to redress.

We don’t live in an ideal world. In many areas it is harder for women. As it was harder for a young Lewis Hamilton. We might feel that we personally are not responsible, but we should also not kid ourselves that these factors apply.

And really, “a biological fact that men are hardwired to take care of women and defer to them and give them what they want”? Do you really think that is what’s happening in the world? Look around you at the real world.

We’ve been over this before. Women have had to fight harder to get the same deal as men. That’s why we celebrate a centenary this year – 100 years of women being able to vote in Britain, a right that men had for much longer. For that to happen, Women had to protest and suffer and a few died.


@ Bobster…you need to study the paleoanthropological data base in more detail if you want to understand how society has been formed and the relative places within that framework, occupied by both male and female.


TimW. Maybe. Or maybe a role model helps. Since Atita Veghese turned pro in India, the number of females wanting to participate or spectate has gone up. In the USA that scene does look a lot better, with a female national champ back in 1965 already. And generally the USA seems to be more egalitarian, more welcoming in sports with Indycar and Nascar both having female drivers in the top series, and even an openly gay competitor in Nascar.


There’s another reason there’s not as many female skateboarders.

A young girl is less likely to get back on a skateboard after an injury, compared to a male counterpart.

Make skateboarders are more willing to take larger risks. This plays out two ways. They get rewarded by their peers for taking the risks, and the more risks they take, the more comfortable at risk taking they get. There’s a snowball effect. And because males have more testosterone, they are more likely to start that snowball rolling.

Young males are more likely to venture farther away from home at a young age. This means a young male skateboarder will generally be exposed to a larger partition of his neighbourhood, finding more sports to skate at, and finding more people to skate with.

But in the case of skateboarding, it’s the willingness to pick oneself up after a major fall (including broken bones), and the ability to be careless in the face of danger. These are two things that males are more adept at doing than females, which gives them a massive leg up in becoming professional skateboarders.

Add in strength, or “power to weight”, and a male skateboarders ability to “go big”, again, will push them to levels beyond a female skateboarder.

What any male skateboard comp, then watch the girls go. If it wasn’t labelled as a special comp just for girls, compared to the men, you’d think you were watching amateurs – simply based off the magnitude of the airs, and the degree of difficulty of the spins and grinds.


Bobster, surely there is a number three? 3, Skateboarding is a sport that simply attracts fewer women than men. If you look at the crowds at a pro skating event, you will see a huge difference in the number of male spectators vs female. Anyone can buy a ticket, no barriers there, and yet it seems that skateboarding simply isn’t as interesting to women as it is to men.


There are definitely more than 2 possibilities. For example, it could well be that women are just not interested in skateboarding.


I used to work at an inner city school that ran its own kart team. I remember the teacher that led it telling me they couldn’t find any route forward for their most talented (& working class) driver, so when he left school that was it.


But all sports are like that. Lots of grass roots participants, but only a few will be able to do it for a living, and a smaller number still will make it to the very highest level.

The trouble with motorsports is that the gear costs such a lot and so financial backing is necessary.


Girls on track – as long as they are wearing flameproof underwear !

Michele Mouton in the Audi Quattro on Peaks Peak was amazing.


@ gene Herbert ….is that a different place to ‘Pikes Pike’?


Suprising to see Carmen Jorda is not part of this prigram. Probably too busy trying to come up with scientific evidence of why she’s so slow, and needs a female only F1 to be able to compete lmao.

I dunno…I’m getting a little tired of hearing about all this “females in sport” stuff….especially because it seems so conflicting. On one hand, you have people like Carmen Jorda saying that women will never be able to compete with men. On the other hand, I read a story last week where in Australia, a female Brigadere in the Army Reserves turned politician is proposing that all Australian professional sports be mixed gender – including Rugby League and Aussie Rules football.

So someone square that circle for me. Carmen Jorda thinks women can’t compete against men in F1. Yet this Army Brigadere think women can compete against men in Rugby and Aussie Football. Something just doesn’t add up here.

These people have idea what the hell they want, all they know is they want what they don’t currently have.

Anyways, rant aside, this “girls on track” movenment seems like the right idea – more girls at the grassroots level, increase the size of the funnel. It’ll take time, but in my opinion, that’s the only fare and legit way to get more females into race seats.

I wonder……I wonder if someone did a study of, let’s say the next 10 years, as HALO trickles down to lower catagories – anyone think that with the introduction of HALO into lower singnle seat catagories, we might see female participation increase? Would be interesting to see if there was any connection between the two.

Or do a study of drivers, and see what % of males and what % of females are in favour of the halo.


do you get email alerts?


Asking me? No, I turned them off. Too much junk


there’s a study you can find on line that was created by Harvard University on the subject of men and women’s physiology with respect to competing in sports. it’s mostly about baseball, but it’s very interesting and would help to clarify some of the questions about women in F1….don’t have a link, but it’s not hard to find.


There are many girls competing in motorsport in the UK, so why isn’t the UK involved in this initiative? You can be sure our motorsport governing body has been sending the ‘sports jackets’ to all the meetings, have they been spending most of the time in the bar.


After Brexit will there be an Erasmus fund for UK?

As its a EU initiative?


No, but the UK will do a deal with Indycar that’s much better. Don’t worry about the details yet, or even what Indycar has to say about our plans with them, or what they think about us. Just agree for now and we’ll cross those bridges when we come to them. It will work out spectacularly well for British motorsport in the end.


It’s our bloody money anyway mate!

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