This is a great question and ultimately, there is no reason why a female driver won’t occupy an F1 seat (again).

There have been five female drivers who were officially entered into F1 races, but to date, only two have started.

  1. Maria Teresa de Filippis (Italy), 1958 – 1959. 5 entries and 3 starts with Maserati and Behra-Porsche.
  2. Lella Lombardi (Italy), 1974 – 1976. 17 entries and 12 starts with March, RAM and Williams.
  3. Davina Galica (United Kingdom) 1976 & 1978. 3 entries but missed out at qualification with Surtees & Hesketh.
  4. Desire Wilson (South Africa) 1980. 1 entry but missed out at qualification with Williams.
  5. Giovanna Amati (Italy) 1992. 3 entries but missed out at qualification with Brabham.

Susie Wolff (Scotland) was the last to take a car to the track for an official session. She was a reserve driver for Williams in 2014 and drove Free Practice 1 at the 2014 British and German Grand Prix.

Susie was interviewed recently by Tom Clarkson for his F1 Beyond the Grid podcast.

When asked “Why aren’t there any female drivers in Formula 1 at the minute because there hasn’t been anyone since you in 2014” Susie responded saying “It’s about the talent pool, it’s a numbers game. If you’ve only got a handful of little girls racing at top-level European carting, it’s very unlikely that one of them is going to make it to the very pinnacle of the sport. But if you’ve got more girls racing the talent pool becomes naturally becomes bigger and the more chance you have of a girl making it to the very top”.

She went on to say “I think the second part is also about inspiration, you’ve got to see it to believe it and unfortunately right now we don’t have a female driver in Formula 1 that can inspire the next generation. But I do believe on the positive side that there are a lot of very talented women in the sport. Maybe off track more than on track right now and they are proving to be inspirations and I’ve certainly seen it in my time in the sport that slowly but surely we are making progress”.

As Susie notes, there are many roles for women in motorsport and she promotes this through her organisation Dare to be Different.

Tags : F1F1 beginnerF1 Female DriverF1NewbieFormula 1
Andrew Burden

The author Kiwi F1 Fan

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