F1 empresario Bernie Ecclestone has mooted the concept of a female-only category as a support race for Formula 1 after weeks of speculation over the prospect of women racing at the pinnacle of motorsport.
He said: “I thought it would be a good idea to give them a showcase. For some reason, women are not coming through – and not because we don’t want them. Of course we do, because they would attract a lot of attention and publicity and probably a lot of sponsors.
“We have to start somewhere so I suggested to the teams that we have a separate championship and maybe that way, we will be able to bring someone through to F1. They could race before the main event, or perhaps on the Saturday qualifying day so that they had their own interest.
“It is only a thought at the moment but I think it would be super for F1 and the whole grand prix weekend.”
Ecclestone’s comments come at a time when the sport has two female development drivers in the paddock; Williams’ Susie Wolff and Carmen Jorda at Lotus.
The push for greater gender equality has been a key topic on the news agenda in 2015, and frankly the proposal of an all-women world championship feels utterly retrogressive and exclusionary. The concept of Formula 1 is that the best drivers race in the best machinery, regardless of gender, ethnicity or nationality – it is an incredible melting pot of speed and entertainment.