Coulthard calls on 'fundamental change' in motorsport to boost women

Published on 11 Oct 2018 11:23

Former Grand Prix driver David Coulthard says that a fundamental change is needed in motorsport in order to boost the careers of women. On Wednesday, the 'W Series' was announced for 2019 which will be an all-female racing series.

The series is focused on finding a female talent worthy of progressing towards F1. The series will be free to enter however a group of judges, including Coulthard, will decide on the racers that will progress to compete full-time.

"If you want a fundamental change in the outcome then you need a fundamental change in the process," Coulthard told Autosport. "W Series is a fundamental change in what has clearly not worked as an opportunity to bring through female talent to the highest level you can. If we don't create a platform that may give an opportunity to accelerate that access, then nothing is going to change."

The launch of the series was met with some criticism as not everyone is pleased with the fact women have been segregated from men. IndyCar racer Pippa Mann took to Twitter to voice her disappointment with the decision: "What a sad day for motorsport. Those with funding to help female racers are choosing to segregate them as opposed to supporting them."

Coulthard added: "There will be those that are negative, but show me what anyone else is doing to try to create positive change and try to create positive opportunity?" he said.

"This is a change in the process and it will create opportunity. It is a more structured approach to their development, and an inspiration for girls growing up seeing someone winning and thinking" 'I want to do that!'"

Replies (5)
US ajpennypacker 11 Oct 2018 17:400
Posts: 1425
Amazing that even while an exrtaordinary effort is being made to promote and develop talent among women in Motorsports, there are women still complaining about it. I wasn't going to comment on this until I read Pippa Mann's comment "What a sad day for motorsport. Those with funding to help female racers are choosing to segregate them as opposed to supporting them." What an asinine comment. It assumes that there are currently women capable of driving at comparable level of performance as top men drivers, which of course isn't true. Whether you like this category or not, it's just a category, not the only one. It's meant to be a step to help women showcase talent. If they actually show real talent they will get picked up elsewhere.
SE calle.itw 13 Oct 2018 17:410
Posts: 5669
I do however think she might have a point. I too found the thought of a W series a bit separating rather than including. But at the same time it might be the best shot we have at getting women into F1. My main concern is that the women that do get to F1 might be so used to a different kinda racing that they might be even less competitive once they get to the likes of Le Mans, DTM or F1 compared to the likes of Susie Wolff, whom raced with "the boys" from the start.
US Rindtchamp 11 Oct 2018 17:41+2
Posts: 272
'W' Series is stupid. it won't help women at all, there is no point in seperating the sexes, the key to this is grass roots level. We need to spend more time and effort getting girls into karting at a young age. Then they will naturally filter up the system and get into more series including hopefully F1. But having a "female only" series is just a bad move.
Posts: 19
I can see this from both sides. A segregated formula will provide a platform for women but that is no good without a ladder to the next. How about the top 5 get a guarantee of funding to get them into a competitive formula 3 car for a year. If they perform well in that then I am sure they will then progress to Formula 2 on merit then it's up to them. Raised profile and sponsorship potential increased and there on merit after a leg up.

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