Contrary to popular opinion, there are no rules that prevent women from competing in Formula 1. Some might believe that this is simply indicative of male superiority in the sport whether it be physical or political. The truth, according to Ferrari team principal, Frederic Vasseur, is there is simply “one girl for every 1,000 men” getting into the sport.
“There is no physiological or other limit for me when it comes to having a girl in Formula 1,” Vasseur explained over on X (formerly known as Twitter).
“What limits their access is the stats. At the age of ten, one girl starts karting for every 1,000 men.
“Which means that we can welcome one boy every year or two in F1. So statistically that would be one girl every 159 years if nothing changes.”
Vasseur continues in the video to explain that Formula 1 is trying to tackle the issue by “trying to create a dedicated category for girls” while also attempting to “attract many more girls into karting.”
There are women in Formula 1, Red Bull’s chief strategist Hannah Schmitz comes to mind, but there are no female drivers waiting in the wings. They have introduced F1 Academy in 2023 to address this issue, but it remains to be seen whether this will effectively get more women into motorsport at a younger age. It’s a long-term solution (hopefully) that won’t deliver results right away, but it is a step in the right direction though it has to avoid the same pitfalls of the ill-fated W Series.