Billionaire F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone can’t seem to help himself from making controversial statements, and the prospect of women in F1 racing is his latest target. Bernie’s recent statement made a huge headline in the internet, the F1 CEO stated that females aren’t strong enough to be successful in a grand prix.
“I don’t know whether a woman would physically be able to drive an F1 car quickly, and they wouldn’t be taken seriously,” Ecclestone said in statement in London, via the Autoblog.com.
Ecclestone’s statements provoked a fierce backlash in the motorsport. Former ARCA Racing driver Leilani Munter has described the F1 CEO as”an embarrassment” and “just a sad, pathetic, sexist old man with pre-historic views of women”.
Ecclestone’s controversial statement also ignores that Susie Wolff was an accomplished test driver at Williams F1 for years. The 33-year-old Wolff has become the first female driver to take part in a F1 grand prix weekend for more than 20 years. Wolff started working with Williams F1 in 2012, after racing for seven years in the German Touring Car Championship. She retired from motorsport in 2015. Wolff has spent three years in F1 test and development works.
People are defending Ecclestone who said in 2005 that "women should be dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances." *SMH*
— Leilani Münter (@LeilaniMunter) April 20, 2016
Wolff has been active in the motorsport world, she founded Dare to be Different, an initiative which aims to increase the number of women in motorsport.
Wolff said that she had made some talks with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone on Wednesday regarding his controversial statements made at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London.
The Williams test driver has told the BBC World Service: “Like anybody else, when I heard the comments at first I thought ‘wow, how could he have said that?’ But when I looked into it, the comments are taken completely out of context.
“There was a much wider interview around the topic and actually his comments weren’t as bad as they sounded,” via the BBC Sports.
While the billionaire racing magnate is clearly against women racing in F1, he doesn’t seem against women in motorsports in general. In fact in 2015, the F1 CEO has suggested creating a support race exclusively for female drivers.
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