F1 may never see a female racer again: Bernie Ecclestone

Since Italian driver Lella Lombardi became first woman driver to start a F1 race at the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix, no female driver has competed in the highest class of single-seat auto racing.

Last Updated: Jan 15, 2016, 00:11 AM IST
F1 may never see a female racer again: Bernie Ecclestone

New Delhi: Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Thursday expressed his doubt that the sport may never see a female racer again, saying even if there was somebody that was capable they wouldn’t be taken seriously.

In an interview on the Canadian network TSN, Ecclestone told “I doubt it. If there was somebody that was capable they wouldn’t be taken seriously anyway, so they would never have a car that is capable of competing. There was a girl that was driving in GP3 for a whole season so it is not something that hasn’t happened.”

Since Italian driver Lella Lombardi became first woman driver to start a F1 race at the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix, no female driver has competed in the highest class of single-seat auto racing.

When the 85-year-old was asked about the chances of a Lombardi's feat repeating, the Briton said “No. I don’t think so.”

However, Susie Wolff became the first woman to take part at a Formula One race weekend in more than two decades when the Briton took part in practice for Williams at the 2014 home GP. And despite being married to Mercedes’ director, Susie's dream of competing in the main even remained unfulfilled.

The 33-year-old announced her retirement from F1 and from all motorsport in November last year.

Interestingly, Ecclestone had earlier suggested a women’s series to run in tandem with the main GP schedule.