Michele Mouton, a hugely successful rally driver, works for the FIA at the age of 70. A film, Queen of Speed, illustrates Mouton’s inspirational achievements and a force for significant change in motorsport. She remains an inspiration and force for change in motorsport a full 40 years after her heyday in the World Rally Championship (WRC).
“Can a girl get to Formula 1?” Mouton once stated. “Sure, if it is the right girl, with the right skills and the right opportunities. It is a simple truth that women do not often get a chance with a top car; they do not get sufficient testing. You need all of that, but I am sure that a girl can do that. I think that women have a stronger sense of self-preservation than men. It is an instinct that is more developed in the woman than in the man. And I think this is important when you come to that last hundredth of a second.”
Are Women Good Enough for F1?
Many believe women lack the strength to cope with the demands of the sport. Many state that women have 30 percent less muscle so they must work three times as hard.
The experts state to achieve the optimum in training, research shows a driver needs to spend just 30 percent of their time on physical training and the other 70 percent on brain training.
“If you can train the brain to be more efficient, it's easier to multi-task and that will make the bigger difference in terms of performance,” stated Dr Riccardo Ceccarelli, who offers medical support to the Toro Rosso and Lotus F1 teams.
The FIA set up a Women & Motor Sport Commission to let women know if you can do a better job than the best you will be given the respect you deserve. It is a high-speed meritocracy and there are a lot more women in the sport than one might think.
GFG: On Track
GFG believes if more girls start racing — and are promoted accordingly, it will only be a matter of time before another woman makes it into F1.
The W-Series, a racing series exclusively for women that started over two years ago is working to ensure that female drivers get more racing practice free of charge, unlike in Formula One, which costs millions.
There is an obligation for governing body the FIA to make a clear pathway for female drivers. The FIA Girls on Track project has been trying to do that for two years. "We want to inspire the next generation of young girls. We want to make sure they are supported through role models and mentoring in sport," stated ambassador Susie Wolff.
Wolff stated, "I'm not like other females. I'm obviously different because of the path I've taken. I'm just as aggressive as the guys when I get my helmet on. Plus, F1 is not just about taking risks, but knowing when to take risks and when to back off. It's also about strategy and managing your tires."
There is no question that GFG would love to see more competitive female drivers. If women aren't able to match men physically, that doesn't mean they can't be successful. Endurance and mental training, a competitive car, and a supportive team — can take you far. Go FAST Girls!