Stefano Domenicali commented on a woman’s chances of driving in the elite motor racing championship
Formula 1 should not expect to see a female driver in its ranks in the next five years, according to its president, Stefano Domenicali.
The Italian said that although he is “crucial to give the maximum possibility to women to come” in the elite motorsport championship, that it is “totally dedicated to,” he added that“In reality, unless there is something like a meteorite, I don’t see a girl coming to F1 in the next five years”.
“It’s very unlikely,” Domenicali added, while saying that F1 is “work to see what we can do to improve the system.”
F1 has shown its will to do so by promoting the W series during its Grands Prix this season, which only has female riders.
“We are very satisfied with the collaboration with Formula W,” Domenicali said about it.
“But we think that in order to be able to give the girls the chance to be at the same level of competition as the guys, they have to be the same age when they start fighting on the track at Formula 3 level and Formula 2.
— W-Series (@WSeriesRacing) August 15, 2022
“We’re working on it to see what we can do to improve the system. And you’ll see action soon,”he swore.
“We want to build the right parameters with the right approach so that they start racing guys, at the right age, with the right car.”
Domenicali did not elaborate on the plans to help women into F1, but the likes of two-time W Series champion Jamie Chadwick said she was “happy to be the guinea pig” when it comes to integration, although she also admits that she’s not sure women can cope with the physical demands required to cut it at the top level, as the F2 and F3 cars haven’t the power steering that their F1 counterparts have.
“Without power steering and [a] driving big heavy cars, many women struggle, even if they have succeeded in karting,” noted the Briton.
So far, only two women, both compatriots of Domenicali, have taken the start of an F1 Grand Prix.
In the 1950s Maria Teresa de Filippis tried five times while Lella Lombardi entered 12 races in the mid-1970s and was the only one of the pair to score points by getting half of one by finishing sixth in the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix.
#OnThisDay in 1975, Lella Lombardi became the first and so far the only woman to score points (half a point in fact, since the race was cut short by an accident) in a championship #F1 GP, 6th in a March 751 at Montjuïc. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/S5KWIbF5pD
— Matt Bishop 🏳️🌈 (@TheBishF1) April 27, 2022
Domenicali was speaking at a press conference ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix this week and also revealed talks were underway to stage a race in South Africa without specifying whether that could happen in 2023 or 2024.
China is also trying to get back on schedule after being out since 2019, but Domenicali stressed that while Covid fears and regulations have complicated that, progress is on the horizon.
“Covid is unclear, and all the major sports leagues are waiting to figure out what’s going on, [but] we believe we will have a clear direction on what is the scenario for China going forward by the end of this year,” Domenicali said, while emphasizing how crucial the Chinese Community Party elections in October are also crucial.
After those, “the first point will be to understand what are the Covid regulations applied in this country and then we will see how the situation will evolve”, Domenicali pointed out.
When asked if China’s human rights record and isolation on the world stage could threaten the Chinese Grand Prix, the F1 chief remarked that “the political line of sport is always very thin” and that the championship needs “always be careful”.
“But we’ve always said we want to highlight our positive values. In all countries, we’re going to push what we think is the right thing to push. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll take the right thing. decision to move, he added.
Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia will remain on the calendar despite drivers rocked by a rocket attack on an oil refinery near the Jeddah track over the race weekend in March.
“They are pushing to change what they believe is the right way forward,” Domenicali said regarding the Kingdom’s pledges to improve its human rights record.
“You can’t expect a millennial culture to fade overnight, but we’ll help you with our spotlight to make sure what they promised is delivered. Otherwise, things will be different,” a- he added. Domenicali claimed.
Going forward, Domenicali thinks the racing calendar could have 24 races next year, because “the market asked for this number”.
Anything below 23 or 24, described as the “tipping point”is not possible because the traditional European Grands Prix“He cannot be expected to have the financial strength to cover the money that others are paying”he spelled out the financial power of the Middle East and Asia with a wink.
With local favorite and reigning world champion Max Verstappen currently leading the drivers’ standings, F1 resumes this weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps.
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