Susie Wolff has said motorsport would be “foolish” not to take lessons from the success of other women’s sports such as England’s Lionesses.
England’s women’s football team, nicknamed the Lionesses, look on their way to another sporting success as they progress in the Football World Cup just a year after their European Championship win.
But while there has been plenty of success on the pitch recently, there has also been progress off it.
Susie Wolff praises ‘a lot of progress’ in women’s sport
The Euro final contested between England and Germany recorded the largest attendance of a women’s match in England with Wembley hosting 87,192 fans. It was a sign of how far the sport had progressed and sits fourth in the all-time record of attendance, a list topped by the 91,648 fans who watched Barcelona beat Wolfsburg at the Camp Nou.
It is not just football that has seen real signs of progress either. For the women’s Ashes series this summer, 94,000 tickets were sold which is three times as many as the 2019 edition and 480k viewers tuned in to watch the first day of the Test match at Trent Bridge.
One sport appearing to lag behind the worldwide trend though is motorsport with no female figure representative in F1. Wolff, in her capacity as managing director of the F1 Academy series, said it would be “foolish” for her and F1 not to take lessons from other sports’ success.
“I think it would be foolish for me not to learn from other women’s sports which have made a lot of progress and those changes,” Wolff replied when asked by PlanetF1.com. “I consider myself however so lucky that Formula 1 Academy is the best in the world. I don’t have to try and go out and launch something.
“I have companies who are queuing up to support us and I don’t take that for granted, we have to produce a great product.
“Also we are making sure we have an impact and creating awareness. I’d say just to make sure we have more participation, because if there is one thing that keeps me up at night, it is that we will run out of drivers. We will run out of women drivers.
“I think as much as I feel very grateful for having been on Academy, joining it isn’t a success [on its own]. We still have to respect and obviously we know it is opening doors and I think there’s a lot of pros, not just for us but for many different sports.”