British motor racing star of the 50s Sir Stirling Moss has sparked uproar by suggesting that female drivers are incapable of succeeding in F1.
"I think they have the strength, but I don't know if they've got the mental aptitude to race hard, wheel-to-wheel," the 83-year-old told BBC Radio 5 live.
"I just don't think they have aptitude to win a F1 race," he insisted. "The mental stress I think would be pretty difficult for a lady to deal with in a practical fashion.
"We've got some very strong and robust ladies, but, when your life is at risk, I think the strain of that in a competitive situation will tell when you're trying to win," he added. "The trouble is, when you're racing, it's pretty tiring."
Despite winning 16 races in his 11 seasons in F1, Moss himself never managed to seal F1 title - leading many to dub him "the greatest driver never to win the World Championship."
"I completely disagree with him. It makes me cringe hearing that," said Williams
development driver Susie Wolff who dismissed Moss' comments as "a generation thing" and said that F1 was a "very tough environment" that is hard to enter regardless of gender.
"I don't know where to start," said Wolff when asked by BBC Sport
to respond to Moss's comments. "I've got a lot of respect for Sir Stirling and what he achieved, but I think we're in a different generation.
"In the days [when Sir Stirling was] racing, every time they stepped into a car, they were putting their life on the line. But F1 is much more technologically advanced, it's much safer than it was."
Moss agreed that things had changed since his day, making it physically more possible for women drivers to participate: "We had three-hour races in those days. You needed tremendous concentration. Now races are only one hour and 10 minutes."