F1 boss: Little hope for women in Formula 1
Sad confession from Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali (57). The Italian rules out a woman in the Formula 1 cockpit in the near future.
“Realistically, I don’t see a girl in Formula 1 in the next five years – unless some kind of meteorite hits the earth,” said Domenicali in a press round with AUTO BILD, among others, on the sidelines of the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa.
What he wants to imply with the meteorite comparison: “It’s just very unlikely, unfortunately I have to be realistic.”
The Formula 1 boss is also rejecting women like Sophia Flörsch (currently in the ELMS) or W-Series champion Jamie Chadwick. The last woman to take part in a free practice was Susie Wolff in 2015 at the Williams. Before that, the Italian Giovanna Amati failed three times in 1922 at the qualification hurdle that still existed at the time. In 1975, Lella Lombardi was the only woman who finished sixth at the canceled Spanish GP and scored 0.5 points.
The problem today: there are still not enough girls on the go-kart tracks. That dramatically lowers the chances of one of them making it to the premier class.
After all: Domenicali promises to work on more equality in motorsport. “We want to build up the right parameters with the right approach, step by step, so that girls of the right age and with the right car can compete against the boys,” he reveals.
Domenicali: “We are working to give women the maximum opportunities. So we’re trying to understand how we can create the right environment for the girls to get into Formula 1 at the right age with the right car – because that’s the key factor.”
In other words, series like the W-Series come too late in the careers of young women. “The girls have to be the same age as the boys when they come into Formula 3 or 2. That’s why we have to start earlier,” Domenicali knows.
Nico Rosberg also recently called on motorsport to do more for the female sex in racing. “We have to give more support to women in motorsport, just like we do in Extreme E,” emphasized the 2016 world champion. From associations, clubs, racing series, sponsors, manufacturers and fans. So that female racers are supported from an early age and manage to attract the attention of sponsors and the media. But above all: So that they believe in themselves and don’t have to fight the battle alone. Parents of talented girls need to know that investing in their child is worthwhile because the path to the top is clear.”
Alone: Formula 1 has been fighting for a fast woman for 30 years. As early as the 1990s, former chief promoter Bernie Ecclestone wished for “a fast German, a black man, a woman and a Chinese”.
The woman is still missing…