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GP Week : Issue 218
F1 >>> nEWs FoRmULA womAN Formula 1 supremo Bernie ecclestone has again found a way to rile fans by suggesting a separate championship solely for female drivers. Speaking with the British media in the lead up to the Chinese Grand Prix, Ecclestone was quoted as saying he thought a women only championship would be a good idea. "For some reason, women are not coming through," he said. "Not because we don't want them, of course we do, because they would attract a lot of attention and publicity and probably sponsors." It's an idea that has been almost universally panned, with the exception of Lotus development driver Carmen Jorda. "I don't want to fight for 10th of 15th," she said. "What I want to do is win," while suggesting the physical nature of a Formula 1 car was prohibitive to females being successful. On the other side of the argument is Susie Wolff who snubbed the idea. "It's most definitely not the right way forward," the Williams test driver hit back. "First of all, I don't know where you'd find a full grid of female drivers who are good enough. Secondly, I have raced my whole career in motorsport as a normal competitor. Why would I ever look for a race where I was only competing against women? "I can hand on heart say it would not interest me at all to win such a race. I would rather not be in the race because what am I winning? A race where they've just looked for any girl to make a grid up." Michele Mouton, president of the FIA's Women & Motor Sport Commission, was equally scathing. "I truly believe women want to compete on an equal level with their male counterparts." she opined. "They have proved through the decades that it is possible, even if only a few." Mouton finished second in the 1982 World Rally Championship, winning four rallies in a career that spanned twelve years. The last female to race in Formula 1 was Lella Lombardi in 1976. The Italian is the only female to have scored points in Formula 1 one of only two to have started a grand prix. Bookcoversnotcontractual GPWeek_A5.qxp_Mise en page 1 16/12/2014 12:28 Page1 8 GPWEEK.com // 8 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: