It’s hard to believe that after 62 years, Formula 1 has only seen five women compete in a grand prix. Compare this to the 822 men who have taken part and it’s obvious that there is a serious lack of female drivers. But why?
With no female drivers to look up to, young women are unlikely to decide that the world of Formula 1 is for them. There will always be women who aspire to get involved, regardless of who currently sits in the driver’s seat, but with only 24 spots available, and plenty more male role models for young men to look up to, it’s no wonder that it is a male-dominated world.
With some believing that women are unable to compete against men in the sport due to the physical challenges involved, some women in the business have called for an all women championship to be created. Failing that, former development driver Carmen Jorda believes that women have a better chance to compete in Formula E, which is overall less demanding physically.
However, Formula Medicine founder Dr Riccardo Ceccarelli, who has researched how F1 drivers can improve during their training, believes that physical strength is not as important as mental strength. Whilst it is important to build the muscles in the neck and upper body initially, once drivers are able to drive without getting physically tired the importance shifts to brain training.
According to Dr Ceccarelli’s research, this mental training makes up the 70% that drivers need to work on, compared to just 30% of physical training. So whilst the majority of women drivers may not be able to match the physical stature of their male counterparts, they could still be successful through proper mental training.
So the question is, what can be done to get more female drivers involved in Formula 1? Encouraging young girls to watch F1 may be a starting point, whether they watch trackside at Ermanno Palace through a package such as https://edgeglobalevents.com/f1-hospitality/monaco/ or whether they sit at home willing their favourite driver to win.
Either way, with more women working behind the scenes and others rising up to challenge for the coveted 24 places, let’s hope young girls have someone to look up to.