Michele Mouton says the FIA should not immediately dismiss Bernie Ecclestone's idea for an all-female motorsport series, despite a backlash from several racers.

Ecclestone created a stir by suggesting women should be promoted in motorsport with the creation of a female-only championship, a premise that drew the ire of Williams F1 test driver Susie Wolff, who dismissed it as 'not the right way forward', while F3 driver Tatiana Calderon took to Twitter to insist women are capable of competing at the highest level.

Despite this, Michele Mouton, former World Rally driver and the president of the FIA's commission for women in motorsport, says it is an idea that deserves to be researched by FIA, even if she says she would rather see men and women competing on an equal level.

Related Articles

"The idea of an all-women competition is not something we would dismiss without proper debate and research," she told the Associated Press. "From my own experience as a competitor, I truly believe women want to compete on an equal level with their male counterparts. They have proved through the decades that it is possible, even if only a few.

"Motor sport is just one of three sports, including sailing and horse-riding, where men and women compete alongside one another with the same rules and classifications. This level playing field provides a real indicator of performance and pushes athletes to be the best in the world, regardless of gender.

"We have to continue promoting the fact that motor sport is open to all, with the same prospects and potential to succeed."

Despite Wolff and Calderon's reaction, Carmen Jorda - who was signed as a Lotus F1 development driver earlier this year -, is more supportive.

"I think society has changed a lot in the last few decades. You see women in better jobs, managing to have careers of their own in areas that were deemed male for a long time.

"Nowadays you see women competing in their own championships in most sports: football, tennis, skiing - you name it - and in none of these championships are men and women competing against each other. So the question is: why not have a F1 world championship for women?

Mouton is considered the most successful female racer of all-time having won four World Rally Championship events and finished runner-up in the overall standings in 1982.

However, there hasn't been a female F1 race driver since Giovanna Amati in 1992, though Wolff will get FP1 outings with Williams in 2015.