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Liuzzi: F1 would be tough for girls

Whilst avoiding Jenson Button's mistake of bringing boobs into the argument, Force India F1 ace Vitantonio Liuzzi admits that he doubts female drivers could cope either 'physically or psychologically' with the challenge of competing at the very highest level
Vitantonio Liuzzi has waded into the debate about whether or not a female driver could ultimately succeed in F1, by contending that in his opinion, the pinnacle of international motorsport is 'physically and psychologically' too 'tough' for girls – but then at least he avoided Jenson Button's error of bringing boobs into the argument.

Last week, the sport's influential commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone re-iterated his long-held belief that to have someone like IndyCar Series pin-up Danica Patrick in F1 'would be a perfect advert' [see separate story – click here] – but Force India ace Liuzzi is not so sure any of the present crop could adequately handle the pressure and expectations.

“I think it would be quite tough for the girls,” the Italian told ESPNF1. “I think Danica could be big for publicity like she is in America, but F1 has a different objective and is a tougher challenge both physically and psychologically.

“To be at the top in F1 is not as easy as people expect. I doubt it would work, but Bernie has all these great ideas to showcase the business and he is the boss, so you never know!”

Five years ago, now reigning F1 World Champion Jenson Button generated a great deal of controversy with some casual, off-the-cuff remarks in an interview with men's lifestyle magazine FHM, as he claimed certain factors meant women were unlikely ever to make the grade at the highest level.

“Danica is very quick,” the British star had acknowledged, “but in F1 cars I can't see it happening due to the G-forces in fast corners – and one week of the month you wouldn't want to be on the circuit with them, would you? A girl with big boobs would never be comfortable in the car, and the mechanics wouldn't concentrate. Can you imagine strapping her in..?”

Over the 60 years that the world championship has been in official existence, only five female drivers have ever attempted to start a grand prix, and three of them – Divina Galica, Desiré Wilson and Giovanna Amati most recently in 1992 – failed to get beyond the qualifying stage. The late Lella Lombardi is the only woman to have ever troubled the scorers, tallying half a point for sixth place in the tragically shortened 1975 Spanish Grand Prix at Montjuïc Park in Barcelona.



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16-18 April 2010, Long Beach, California, USA #7 Team Go Daddy Andretti Autosport`s Danica Patrick.
Danica Patrick during her 2009 Sports Illustrated photo shoot [pic credit: SI]
16-18 April 2010, Long Beach, California, USA #7 Team Go Daddy Andretti Autosport`s Danica Patrick.
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Friday Practice1, Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA), Force India F1 Team, VJM03
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Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA), Force India F1 Team, VJM03
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27.11.2016 - Race, Girl in the paddock
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
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D P - Unregistered

August 16, 2010 11:25 AM

I thought we already had a bunch of girls driving in f1 nowadays,the way the're always bitching and moaning about things. I think the real reason Tonio or any other f1 driver doesn't want girls in f1 is because they wouldn't like to be beaten by a girl.

JackRu55el

August 16, 2010 11:31 AM

not a good view to have aired publically considering the number of female fans who watch F1. F1 has a different agenda to publicity? when did this change occur? i must have blinked! maybe his 'views' are coloured by his concerns that his team may see a female driver as a way of increasing their sponsorship budget and not affecting their results. be careful walking past the pit lane girls at the next race matey you may be finding a few trip hazards. i think women in motorsport is a good thing. it's one of the few sports where they are able to compete in the same competition as the men.



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