Carmen Jorda has issued a statement aiming to clear up her comments about the "physical issues" facing female drivers looking to reach Formula 1 following a backlash from the motorsport community.

FIA Women in Motorsport Commission member Jorda sparked controversy when she told reporters in Mexico City last week that Formula E would be easier for women to drive due to its less physical nature, with her comments being taken by some to suggest F1 was out of reach for female racers on the motorsport ladder.

Jorda issued a tweet in response to the story that was later deleted before releasing a statement on Thursday night.

"On Saturday, after testing a Formula E car before the Mexico City E-Prix, I spoke to several journalists about the experience," the statement reads.

"During one interview I was asked to compare driving a Formula E car to a Formula 1 car, and then specifically, whether Formula E is easier for women to compete in that Formula 1.

"Having some experience of both cars, I gave my personal opinion that driving a Formula E car presents less of a physical challenge than Formula 1, because of the lower downforce.

"I also referred to there being 'a physical issue' for women in Formula 1, something which has created considerable debate over the last few days - including from many prominent women within our sport.

"I would like to thank fellow drivers for sharing their opinions, and respect their views greatly. I am sorry if my comments appeared to speak for all women and created all confusion - as I was reflecting merely on my own personal experience.

"I never intended to discourage other women from competing at the pinnacle of our sport, or say that they physically cannot. My comments were purely a response to a direct question, asking 'do you think Formula E would be easier for women?'

"As a member of the FIA's Women in Motorsport Commission, I am committed to encouraging more women to become involved in our sport - both on and off the track - and celebrating those who are achieving great results.

"As such, I would like to extend my congratulations to Tatiana Calderon, who was yesterday announced as a Formula 1 test driver at Sauber. I hope that she can become the first woman in 41 years to start a race on the Formula 1 grid and wish her the very best of luck for the coming season.

"I wish all women in motorsport a happy International Women's Day for tomorrow."

 

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