British racing driver Sarah Moore says she hopes to see a female driver on the F1 grid in “five to six years’ time”.
Not since 1992 has a female driver been in Formula 1 when Italian racer Giovanna Amati drove for Brabham but failed to qualify for the three GPs she entered.
Arguably though there hasn’t been a stronger group female racers in the junior categories than there is now – the inaugural W Series winner Jamie Chadwick serves a development driver for Williams, while Tatiana Calderon is a test driver for Alfa Romeo.
And Moore, who finished P8 in the first W Series season, hopes to see a female driver in Formula 1 within the next six years.
“I’d like to think there will be a woman driver on the F1 grid in five to six years’ time,” she told Sky Sports.
“We’ve got Jamie now in that F1 paddock, and Tatiana Calderon [the Alfa Romeo test driver].
“The W Series is helping to open a lot of people’s eyes to the talent that is out there – I remember going to Austria for the initial selection process and it was surprising even for us to see so many female drivers in one room. In terms of F1, we’re getting there.”
Moore has developed a thick skin competing in a male-dominated sport, but even though she is openly lesbian, that has never really affected her career, except for one funny moment.
“I was always a tomboy growing up but as for being a lesbian in motorsport, it doesn’t really come into it at all,” she said.
“I’m a big believer in that you love who you love and you’ve just got to go with it. When it does come up in conversation, nothing ever really gets taken seriously.”
Recalling a 24-hour race which she once took part in for an all-female team, she said: “They were using grid girls back then but for me, they’d gone to the effort to find a ‘grid guy’ which put a smile on my face.
“He must have felt a bit weird but I guess he got paid, so he probably wasn’t too fussed!”