F1 » Stirling Moss: Women 'lack mental aptitude' for F1

"I don't know if they've got the mental aptitude to race hard, wheel-to-wheel," says British F1 legend.

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Seb - Unregistered

April 15, 2013 3:16 PM

I dont think moss was meaning to be sexist but I have always thought for a number of years that there should be a all female championship to give an even playing field as I dont mean to sound sexist but I most probably do but women arent as mad as us men and are more sensible and in a wheel to wheel fight with a man who would lift first !!!!

RawDawg - Unregistered

April 15, 2013 3:30 PM
Last Edited 1110 days ago

The 1950's called Moss and asked for their comment back.

If he was talking about physical strength than no one would say much as males a typically physically stronger than females. But mentally? Oh please.

nymad - Unregistered

April 15, 2013 3:42 PM

Good on the old boy for saying it... Before you all go off slandering his chauvinism or naivety, think about the fundamental issue. Females are evolutionary designed to have less spacial awareness and mechanical aptitude than males for basic reasons. Without this inherent quality, regardless of the amount of preparation, females cannot compete with males.
There are even today very few (male) drivers capable of driving F1 cars to their limit.

Maxx - Unregistered

April 15, 2013 3:57 PM

@ nymad - what you describe is very much a generalisation and only accurate on the basis that, it is thought, caused by family environment and gender channelled activities during schooling. However, there are exceptions to the rule, Flt Lt Helen Seymour is an operational RAF Typhoon pilot - a role that arguably requires mastery of both the qualities you describe. A lady I know well is a chartered mech engineer with a masters in aerodynamics and is an aerobatic pilot in her spare time, both disciplines requiring mechanical aptitude and spatial awareness. To state evolutionary design is an oxymoron (i.e., there is no human design, only evolution) however, there is evolutionary evidence to suggest females tend to be more risk averse than males which may better explain why fewer females choose a racing career over the males.

Boo - Unregistered

April 15, 2013 4:00 PM

Justifying it by saying it comes down to 'mental strength' over an F1 race distance is a bit ridiculous when you consider several women have competed in rallying and in endurance competitions - both of which require arguably more mental strength than a comparatively short F1 race.

Doesn't help that BBC sought Susie Wolff for comment because - though I think she is a respectable driver and a lovely person - she isn't F1 standard. Not because she is a woman, just because she isn't quick enough.

As someone mentioned earlier, Simona de Silvestro can probably hold her own. I think her and Danica Patrick might have something to say about competing in the Indy 500 compared to F1 where the speeds are higher, the races are longer and the risks are greater.

Maxx - Unregistered

April 15, 2013 4:16 PM

@ Boo - I agree. IMO some cracks showed in Susie's documentary last night and her time has passed in my view. One to watch may be Beitske Visser who's just been signed to the Red Bull Junior prog, good record in single seaters so far and rapid 6 speed KZ-1 karts at world level. She's 18 so young enough to develop any potential she has.. As Nymad correctly points out, only a few can nail F1 so she'll need to be damn good!


April 15, 2013 4:47 PM

We could do with a "Formula female" championship using cars similar to F1 cars and then the top three in the championship given a proper and fair test drive in an F1 car.
One other thing, are there any ladies winning in GP2?

Texas Roadhouse

April 15, 2013 4:48 PM

Women compete in plenty of the same sports as men - but I can think of very few where they can compete against men one-one one other than motorsport (I shudder to think how a women's rugby team would fare against an all male side, although the showers/baths after could be interesting!). So many sports have female variants - cycling, cricket, football, and rugby come to mind - but they are different, neither better nor worse.
Motorsport is unique, I believe, in giving female competitors an equal chance. Whether a driver is good enough, or not, to progress to F1 should depend solely on their skill, not their sex, or "marketability". It might be interesting, in the end-of-season tests for up and coming drivers to include one or more female drivers, just to see how they compare.

Stuart - Unregistered

April 15, 2013 5:27 PM

Foot - Mouth. Silly comment, Stirling. That said there are no female drivers currently capable of outracing the current crop of F1 drivers so it will be at least a decade until that changes.

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