Bernie wants all-female F1 series

Date published: March 30 2015 - Editor

Bernie Ecclestone has come up with some "wonderful proposals" over the years and his latest idea is a separate Championship for women.

Although the likes of Williams' Susie Wolff and Carmen Jorda at Lotus have broken through in recent years, they remain restricted to test and development roles. In fact Lella Lombardi was the last woman to start a Formula One race back in 1976.

There has been plenty of talk in recent years about a female driver making the step up to the grid and Ecclestone believes an all-female series might be the way to go first.

"I thought it would be a good idea to give them a showcase. For some reason, women are not coming through – and not because we don't want them. Of course we do, because they would attract a lot of attention and publicity and probably a lot of sponsors," he is quoted as saying in The Guardian.

"We have to start somewhere so I suggested to the teams that we have a separate Championship and maybe that way, we will be able to bring someone through to F1. They could race before the main event, or perhaps on the Saturday qualifying day so that they had their own interest.

"It is only a thought at the moment but I think it would be super for F1 and the whole grand prix weekend."

Test driver Wolff, though, is not impressed.

"It's most definitely not the right way forward," she told the Mirror. "First of all, I don't know where you'd find a full grid of female drivers who are good enough.

"Secondly, I have raced my whole career in motor sport as a normal competitor. Why would I ever look for a race where I was only competing against women?

She added: "I can hand on heart say it would not interest me at all to win such a race. I would rather not be in the race because what am I winning? A race where they've just looked for any girl to make a grid up."