While there are female Formula 1 drivers orbiting the sport, there are no current drivers competing in the actual grands prix. With names like Susie Wolff, Carmen Jordá and Simona di Silvestro having secured reserve, development or test driver roles, the series still has not placed a female as their main driver.
F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone says he may have a solution for not only getting female drivers racing but also develop a ladder system to move female drivers through to F1 telling the Guardian:
“I thought it would be a good idea to give them a showcase. For some reason, women are not coming through – and not because we don’t want them. Of course we do, because they would attract a lot of attention and publicity and probably a lot of sponsors.
“We have to start somewhere so I suggested to the teams that we have a separate championship and maybe that way, we will be able to bring someone through to F1. They could race before the main event, or perhaps on the Saturday qualifying day so that they had their own interest.
“It is only a thought at the moment but I think it would be super for F1 and the whole grand prix weekend.”
The big question isn’t whether people would enjoy a female open-wheel series as part of a grand prix weekend but if the teams would spend the money to create cars, personnel and resources to it.
The teams are already at the circuit but there would be a cost increase to run the cars and which cars would they run? Current specification F1 cars or another formula altogether like GP2 etc?
Is this a good idea? Could GP2 not be used as the feeder series for female drivers? Isn’t it already? The issue is that perhaps even GP2 team owners are pressured by the financial costs of running a team and not willing to try and develop female drivers but a new series focused solely on female race drivers might be a better solution.
What do you think? Thumbs up or down?
Hat Tip: Guardian