“I don’t see a girl coming into F1”: Stefano Domenicali makes surprising prediction about the entry of women in F1   

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali shared his thoughts on when women would be able to take part in Formula 1.

Stefano Domenicali
Stefano Domenicali, CEO Formula 1 group.

Aston Martin eSports driver Simon Weigang has been the talk of the town recently after he went on a rant on Twitter talking about the “clear cut sexism” that men have to face. His ignorant and incessant rant about a topic as delicate as sexism has sparked conversations around the motorsports community regarding the same.

Formula One used to be a rich, white man’s sport during its inception but in recent years, the sport has worked hard to make itself inclusive to all genders and races. One of the biggest step that Formula One has taken towards its goal of gender equality in motorsports is the creation of an all female racing category – The W Series. However, Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali came under fire recently when he commented that it could take at least another five years before a woman could step into the world of grand prix racing.

Stefano Domenicali spoke to the media openly about his vision regarding women in motorsports and it was one of his comments that sparked controversy. He said, “Realistically speaking, I don’t see – unless there will be something that will be like some sort of meteorite coming into the earth – a girl coming into Formula 1 in the next five years. That is very unlikely, I need to be realistic.

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Stefano Domenicali’s claims may not be outlandish at all

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali

Even though the small snippet has been the main point of reaction, we should take into account the wider explanation that Domenicali provided about the various challenges that women driver still face to back up his claims. Based on the current situation regarding F1 superlicense points, it is pretty clear that there are no female frontrunners who would be eligible for the superlicense points needed to get into F1 in the next few years.

However, The W series has done it’s part to increase the representation of women in motorsports. Females have a much broader representation around the paddock in the recent years. But even the CEO of the W Series, Catherine Bond Muir, somewhat seems to agree with Domenicali.

Talking to Motorsport.com she said, “I don’t think Stefano and I have ever had a different view on how women progress. You need to have that seven and eight year old karter who is starting now. And they need to start on an equal playing field, have the same amount of money, and have the same amount of time in the kart and in whatever cars they are driving.”

She continued, “But I’m not going to write Jamie off actually. There is so much momentum behind her. And I really do believe that there is so much momentum behind women’s sport. I mean, I’m incredibly optimistic at how W Series is going to grow and expand that.”

Thus, we can only wait and watch how much W Series can impact the sport and whether we get a female driver in F1 within the next five years or so.

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Riddhi Mondal is an F1 author at FirstSportz. Having previously worked as a student reporter at The Statesman, she is an ardent follower of all things F1. A nerd through and through, the complicated physics that goes into the cars is what drew Riddhi to the sport. She is a proud McLaren fan who eagerly awaits the paddock's visit to Spa Francorchamps and hopes to attend the Monaco GP one day. A student of medicine, whenever she's not fawning over Daniel Ricciardo or rooting for Max Verstappen to become the next World Champion, Riddhi's either busy reading thrillers, debating, or playing with her six feline friends.