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‘Women don’t have the mental strength for Formula 1’ says F1 racing legend Sir Stirling Moss.

Tuesday 23rd April 2013 10:18:57

Formula 1 racing legend Sir Stirling Moss has been embroiled in a sexism row


Motor racing legend Sir Stirling Moss, aged 83 has become embroiled in a sexism row as he said quote 'Women don't have mental strength for Formula 1 and would find it tiring'. Mr Stirling made the controversial comments during an interview on BBC Radio Five. Mr Stirling is seen by many in the F1 industry as a legend as he has 16 grand prix titles from the fifties and sixties.


Mr Stirling has said that he accepts females can cope with the physical demands of handling a Formula One car, but believes the stress of a high-speed race is too much for them. ‘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 trouble is, when you’re racing, it’s pretty tiring. ‘We had three-hour races in those days. You needed tremendous concentration. Now races are only one hour and ten minutes.


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. The mental stress, I think, would be pretty difficult for a lady to deal with in a practical fashion. I just don’t think they have the aptitude to win a Formula One race.’ To date, only five females have participated in a grand prix, the last being in 1992. The most successful female Formula One driver was Italian Lella Lombardi, who competed in 12 races in the seventies. However many in the industry argue that.


Upcoming current Formula One test driver Susie Wolff expressed her opinions


Upcoming current Formula One test driver Susie Wolff has said: “‘I completely disagree with him. It makes me cringe hearing that. I’ve got a lot of respect for Sir Stirling and what he achieved, but I think we’re in a different generation. For Sir Stirling, it’s unbelievable that a female would drive a Formula One car, which is fair enough. In the days they were 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. When Sir Stirling was asked about me he said, ‘She’s going to have a really tough time ahead of her.’ He’s allowed to have his opinions, but I disagree with him. That perception, that stereotype, is there and it maybe always will be there. It’s not up to me alone to change it.”

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