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Elsewhere

Elsewhere

Why are there no female Formula One drivers?
There are only a few sports where women compete on equal terms with men and it’s entirely a matter of physical stamina. Before the second world war, when cars were lighter and less powerful, there were quite a few successful female drivers, but the demands of a modern car, with greater performance and roadholding, tend to preclude a mixed grid.
There’s no reason why there shouldn’t be a separate Formula One series for women, but that would also require parallel series on the feeder formulas as well, and there probably just aren’t enough sponsors to finance it, explains one reader.

There are no women in Formula One, says another reader, because they aren’t fast enough — and they’re not fast enough because they aren’t physically strong enough. In a Formula One car, you can be pulling up to 4g through a corner. If your neck muscles aren’t strong enough, your head will start bouncing off the side of the cockpit because you can’t Lella Lombardihold your head up, so you back off, and therefore run slower.

A third reports that five women have driven in Formula One. Lella Lombardi of Italy, who drove from 1974–6 was the most successful, recording sixth place (at that time, the lowest points scoring position) in the 1975 Spanish grand prix.

Sadly, the race was stopped because of rain, so she scored only half a point. Divina Galica, Desiree Wilson and Giovanna Amati also competed in Formula One, but the only other woman to qualify for a grand prix was Maria Teresa de Filippis, who finished 10th in Belgium in 1958.

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