Pundits agree on ‘one regret’ in F1 they hope to see change in future

Henry Valantine
Former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan with David Coulthard.

Eddie Jordan speaks into the ear of former Red Bull and McLaren driver David Coulthard.

Eddie Jordan has revealed that his “one regret” in F1 is not seeing a “top-class” current female driver at the top of the sport.

The former eponymous F1 team principal has spoken about his desire to have seen female representation in Formula 1, previously highlighting Max Verstappen’s mother, Sophie Kumpen, as someone who had the potential to make it to that level as a junior driver.

While discussing female drivers in motorsport alongside David Coulthard, who himself has worked to try and bring women into motorsport through his work with W Series and other areas, both hope to see a female driver compete in Formula 1 in their lifetimes.

Lack of a female F1 driver ‘my one regret’ – Eddie Jordan

Susie Wolff was the last female driver to take part in a Formula 1 weekend, having taken on free practice duties for Williams at four sessions in 2014 and 2015 respectively, and has gone on to become the current managing director of the F1 Academy, the all-female junior series launched by F1 in 2023 that will join the calendar as an official support series at select rounds next year.

While the all-female W Series has fallen into administration, steps are now being taken to try and make motorsport more accessible to women and offer more support in their junior careers.

While multiple W Series champion Jamie Chadwick is racing in America in Indy NXT this year, there is no sign just yet that a female driver will be breaking onto the F1 grid, which is something that frustrates Jordan.

Speaking to Coulthard about promising female drivers in junior categories on the Formula For Success podcast, Jordan said: “It’s just nice to see these girls coming out up front and going, and my one regret, and I think it’s probably your regret [addressing Coulthard] that, in our time, we haven’t seen a really top-class current Formula 1 lady driver.”

Coulthard agrees, but given the opportunities that are now being put in place for young drivers at lower levels of motorsport, he hopes that more drivers will be able to rise through the categories as a result in future.

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“Yeah, but that’s going to change you know,” the former McLaren and Red Bull driver said, “and I’ve certainly been promoting and supporting women in motorsports as much as I can in the memory of my sister, Lynsay. She was a very talented racer, but never got the same support that I did.

“She passed away nine years ago now, but in her memory, I want to try and help young girls in karting develop their skills and get the sort of Max Verstappen treatment or the Lewis Hamilton treatment, where they’re really supported all the way through because physically, there’s no reason why women cannot compete with men in motor racing, [because] obviously we don’t have the same physical restrictions that would be in boxing or sprinting and all those sorts of things.

“So anyway, I think in our lifetime, we might see it.”

F1 Academy driver Abbi Pulling has been nominated for the shortlist of the prestigious Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award, sitting 5th in the series so far this year.

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