Carmen Jorda and the 12-second fight

I’m not paid to be a grand apologist for Carmen Jorda but the debate over her performance as compared to Marco Sorensen and Romain Grosjean seems a bit out of control. Especially some of the mean tweets she’s received from fellow race car drivers.

Sorensen was quoted in Danish news as saying about Jorda:

“She was 12 seconds slower than me in the simulator,” he said. “Still, she reaped all the rewards.”


He felt his work on the simulator was far better and yet he was the one who had to depart the team while they kept Jorda. This didn’t sit well with Carmen as she offered a rebuke:

“I honestly don’t know who he is,” she told Spanish publication AS. “I haven’t ever seen him in Enstone. Last year he was not part of the team.

“I would like him to focus on his career. It’s not right that for him to highlight his achievements, he needs to use others, and me specifically.”

“I think it’s incredible that [Sorensen] says that,” Jorda responded.

“Last year in the simulator I used to be more or less within a second of Grosjean.

“If you trust Sorensen’s numbers… if someone was 11 seconds up on Romain, I’m sure that all the F1 teams on the grid would sign them.”

Fair enough, who knows what the real time deltas were against Romain or Marco and to be quite frank, I’m not sure it really matters. The fact is, Renault like what she brings to the table as an ambassador to the team and sport and has designs on getting her more seat and development time. She’s great from a marketing standpoint, one would presume, and that’s their business, not mine.

As our own Paul Charsley pointed out, it’s an odd day when drivers are now boasting about their video game pace. He was being tongue-in-cheek I am sure but he does bring up a good point, drivers can’t really talk much about their on-track pace these days so they have to talk about what they did on a simulator and while they are super awesome pieces of kit, they are not the same as racing.

What’s more unfortunate to me is that you cannot say a thing about Carmen and her skills or lack thereof without being accused as a chauvinist and sexist idiot. Shocking to me. I wrote a piece about her being retained at Renault, there was nothing untoward in the article I posted and yet I get accused of the kind of sentiment that would have women in the kitchens. This being said to me who is a man with two daughters and a wife…please.

Carmen may not have had the pace of Sorensen and I would be very surprised if she had the pace of Romain Grosjean if I’m honest but regardless, Renault like her presence at the team and that’s perfectly fine by me. If she is as fast as Romain, then good news for her and Renault…now go get a Super License.

Hat Tip: Motorsport

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Paul KieferJr

“She’s great from a marketing standpoint,…” Translation: She was hired for her looks. Mind you, I wasn’t the one doing the hiring. You’ll have to ask Renault (Lotus) themselves. However, were I to put them under oath in a court of law, I’ll bet that’s what they’d say.


I really think you are oversimplifying. Not even fashion models are hired for only their looks.

Being within a second of Grosjean means she is probably a good enough driver to evaluate changes to the car, but that will relegate her to the back of nearly every grid she races in.

But again, not a race seat. Seems to me she is very qualified for the role she is in.

The fact that you seem unwilling to see beyond her looks is disappointing.


Unfortunately, boobs sell better than balls.


Yes, The girls have Jenson why can’t we have Carmen.


I can’t speak to Carmen’s talent, having never seen her race, but I think it’s nothing but t good thing for her to be in this position. I can’t remember the last time a simulator driver actually made it to the ‘show’. It’s not a place to get into F1 from. If you don’t get a seat straight from a series, you are extremely unlikely to get ever get one. (Sorensen has delusions if the thinks otherwise, and publishing his sour grapes only hurts his resume). This is merely a highly visible position, that requires at least some skill, and… Read more »

Paul KieferJr

I don’t mind the pretty face, but I would like to think that driving ability is going to be included as a factor in the decision (see Danica Patrick).


Why? It’s not a competitive position. At the least she has to be consistent, to evaluate the difference between bits. Is she going to get the most out to the ‘car’? No, but she doesn’t have to.

It’s not like she’s taking away a race seat from “someone more deserving”. All she’s doing is saving someone else the expense of paying for an internship that will never translate into a race seat.


Indeed, I agree that drivers should be drivers first, but we can’t turn our head and pretend as if good looks hasn’t been in play for the male drivers through the years. You can easily find loads of examples in F1. And another thing about this whole story is that the seems to have left the team for WEC seat and also bcs he was sore that he didn’t had 7.5mil, what he heard that was the minimum price required for an F1 seat – by his words. As for Jorda, I by no means intend to try and defend… Read more »

Boyd McCollum

Sorensen really stepped into it. Over 60 days in the simulator and Renault is so impressed, they let him go. That must be a bitter pill to swallow. The difference between Jorda and Sorensen is that Jorda realizes she’s not good enough to race in F1, Sorensen doesn’t.

Jorda does bring good marketing to the table, and face time on TV for the team. Sponsors love that.


As far as much as we know, Sorensen left the team in a “protest” for the fact that they kept Jorda and by his own words gave her favoritism bcs of his work. I can’t say I am taking anyone’s side here, but Sorensen’s claims seem a bit off in all matters. First of all 12 sec per lap is a mind boggling difference and I doubt that Renault would’ve kept her for her looks only, being aware of her past not so impressive race result, still seems highly unlikely that she was that bad. Second, he talks about the… Read more »

Mike S

Carmen ‘could’ be a good driver…but who knows? She has only placed within the top-10 in Indy Lights once, 11th position once, last place in about everything else.

Former rally driver and head of the FIA’s Women & Motor Sport Commission, Michèle Mouton, described her as a “marketing gag”.

Lets think about that for a moment….

When we see serious F1 competitive drivers like Sutil, Kamui, and Kovalainen let go, there is no ‘sexism’ involved with questioning her reason for being there.


I do not want to make any editorials regarding squabble between Sorensen and Jorda; it’s their business, and my interest in that is minimal, if it exists at all. Comment I want to however add, if anyone expected F1 to be logical, than one could be pretty much disappointed. Just look on recently published driver’s income. Palmer, who hasn’t turn a wheel yet in F1 battle will earn USD900k, whereas Verstappen, in contrast, USD650k. Talking about lack of common sense. It’s not first time, and it’s not last time we see something like that, so we stay put, slowly digesting… Read more »


“more or less within a second” – so she is more or less good at Romain at a video game? Simulator is not real life racing. I know it had advanced in recent years, but it’s NOT the same as the real thing. To quote Rowdy Burns from Days of Thunder, get your own car, and we will see how you do in a crowd.

Negative Camber

I can’t say for certain but having attended Ferrari’s hospitality events, they have Marc Gene and other reserve and development drivers meet with sponsors and the press to talk about wha the team are doing, working on that race weekend and how they will approach the race. It’s terrific interaction and I have to assume that Carmen is doing the same for Renault. It’s an important role for a team, seriously. She’s probably very good at that role within the team so we have to keep in mind that not all reserve drivers are meant for the immediate role of… Read more »


Someone linked to this video on another web site. I’ll just let everyone watch some video of Jorda in a car(not an F1 car) and come to their own conclusions about how good a race driver she is.


Someone is needed to replace the presence of Susie Wolff in the paddock. Carmen’s a dev driver, so her competitiveness and lap times aren’t really paramount in the decision. Does Sorensen really not understand the hiring criteria? I can watch any interview with Carmen, and I get it.


I don’t think you’re a chauvinist, you seem very fair and objective to me, but just from the standpoint of logic, having a wife and daughters doesn’t get you off the hook, plenty of chauvinists do.

Someday one of your daughters may be a beautiful young woman who comes home from the military and beats your ass. THEN having a daughter will be proof of your enlightenment. Did I mention my daughter was home this weekend?

Negative Camber

Yes, yes…I have friends who are salamanders so I can identify with their plight.