Razia: “Conflicts” prevented Barcelona test showing

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Luiz Razia, Marussia, Jerez, 2013In the round-up: Luiz Razia explains why he did not drive during last week’s test at the Circuit de Catalunya.


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Quest??es financeiras amea??am estreia de Luiz Razia na F-1 (Folha de S. Paulo, Portuguese)

Razia says “conflicts” kept him from driving for Marussia in last week’s test but he expects to return to the cockpit this week.

A white-knuckle ride (1974-1981) (McLaren)

“Looking back on it now, I?d say 1979-80 was probably the most turbulent period in McLaren?s history. By the end of 1980 the team?s exhausted designers had produced three different chassis in 18 months ?ǣ the M30 arrived in 1980 ?ǣ and the executives of the team?s long-time sponsor Marlboro had had enough. The result was that the Marlboro men effected an amalgamation between McLaren and Ron Dennis’s Project 4 organisation ?ǣ and the rest, as they say, is history.”


Comment of the day

William Katz puts the case for encouraging more women to compete in motor sport:

I?ve said it before, and I will keep saying it, the only reason there aren?t more women in motorsport is because little Michelle Schumacher or Sabrina Vettel would not have been given a go-kart at the age of three years old the way that many of the stars of this sport were.

That is not necessarily the fault of Formula One, but it is something that I think it is the responsibility of the sport?s governing body to try and address. Doing this means changing the attitudes of the sport?s fans.

And yes, that can feel forced at times, the same way that racial integration felt forced, but that’s what’s necessary and it’s a worthy pursuit.
William Katz (@Hwkii)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ivz, Jake and Mike Roach!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Tony Brooks turns 81 today. Brooks was runner-up to Jack Brabham in the 1959 world championship while driving for Ferrari. The year before he won three times for Vanwall.

His memoirs, published last year, are well worth reading:

Image ?? Marussia

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  • 111 comments on “Razia: “Conflicts” prevented Barcelona test showing”

    1. Razia says “conflicts” kept him from driving for Marussia in last week’s test but he expects to return to the cockpit this week.

      If he doesn’t, then he may well go down in history as the driver with the shortest Formula 1 career.

      1. That would embarrassing.
        Maybe Marussia should make their second seat a “Rent-A-F1 car”. Where super license holders could rent the car for the number of GPs their money could buy as long as a slot is available…

        1. @jcost

          That would embarrassing.

          For Razia, sure. But I challenge the notion that it would embarrass Marussia. Marussia signed Razia up on the condition that his sponsors paid an agreed-upon amount. When those sponsors did not pay – despite having a contract that obligated them to – Marussia stood Razia down. What have they done wrong? How could they have forseen a sponsor changing their minds and deciding not to pay after they had already agreed to?

        2. LOL. Good time for Marussia to get sponsorship from Avis or Europcar :)

          Avis Marussia F1 – With Avis, it’s more than a rental.

          1. @f1lauri

            Don’t know if FOM and/or FIA would allow it, but it looks feasible. Even big teams like Red Bull and Ferrari should hire their services to train their academy drivers

      2. A non-paying pay-driver… does that make him just a regular driver then?

        1. A driver is either a Pay-Driver or Paid-Driver.

        2. No, it would make him a non-driver.

          1. cotd!!!!!!!

    2. Not sure I’d compare trying to persuade more women to get into motorsport and the essential integration of black people…

      1. I was struck by that odd comparison too. Racial integration is giving people their irrevocable human rights. Getting more women into motorsport would be, well, nice. There’s a difference.

        I do accept the wider point that the comment is making, though.

        1. We are talking about sports; I was referring to the racial integration of professional sports, not necessarily about society as a whole. Sorry if that was not more clear.

          1. @hwkii

            You made a valid point IMHO. However, I’d say money is a factor, like it or not motorsports is quite expensive and investing in your kid’s career has the potencial to bankrupt a poor family and unfortunately the bulk of black families are not that rich so those with access to motorsports are very little and if so, must be persistent.

            Outstanding kids like Lewis are lucky enough to draw attention of Ron Denins and folks alike. But I’ve no doubt that in 10 years having a F1 grid with 3 black drivers will not be a surprise. Let’s see how Jann Mardenborough fares in F3.

          2. Racial integration was only forced on bigots/racists. As far as I’m aware, black people weren’t persuaded into sports that they originally had no interest in just so that they’d have representation. I agree with your comment in general though. However;

            That is not necessarily the fault of Formula One, but it is something that I think it is the responsibility of the sport’s governing body to try and address. Doing this means changing the attitudes of the sport’s fans.

            As you say, it isn’t the fault of F1. It is a gender stereotype which go much deeper, and is ingrained in culture. Making F1 a little more female-friendly is sensible, but won’t make all that much of a dent.

    3. “conflicts” sounds very like the language a bank uses when they ask you to call your branch because a cheque hasn’t cleared.

      This is the other undiscussed consequence of pay drivers : insolvent pay drivers!

    4. I’ve said it before, and I will keep saying it, the only reason there aren’t more women in motorsport is because little Michelle Schumacher or Sabrina Vettel would not have been given a go-kart at the age of three years old the way that many of the stars of this sport were.

      I don’t know on whether this is a gender issue or not; but starting early in karting always helps.

      If you look at most of the big drivers in F1 today, most of them start karting at a very early age. Schumacher age 4, Alonso and Vettel aged 3, Hamilton aged 4. IIRC according to the Top Gear tribute Senna also start karting at the age of 4.

      Drivers who we often don’t perceive to be as skillful as their teammates, such as Button and Massa, and are often labelled as drivers who can’t drive around setup problems, and only excel when driving a car which suits them; ironically began go-karting at 8, a later age than their superior teammates.

      Coincidence? I think not. Maybe if Massa and Button had started go-karting four years sooner, they would have been as skillful drivers as Hamilton and Alonso. Of course, this is just crazy speculation.

      1. Hamilton aged 4.

        According to the Jonathan Ross show, Lewis start karting at the age of 5, not 4, my mistake. Nevertheless, my point stands.

        I honestly do believe that in a perfect world, hypothetically speaking, if finances and money had no say in Auto Racing, and the ladder to F1 was entirely down talent — the 22 drivers on the grid would be Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, and then 19 other blokes who began karting at the age of 3-4.

      2. As with any sport, talent only rises to the top after a solid and extensive upbringing within their chosen sport. I cannot think of a top level professional sport where its elite athletes haven’t been playing the sport since they could first walk and in some cases, even before.

        So your argument is 100% reasonable, and if the FIA was serious about it, they would help to develop lower (entry level) categories.

        It is great however, to know, that I know of at least 2 girls that are in their early teens enjoying go karting, neither are sure of committing to it, and nor should they be pushed either, they’re far too young to be making those decisions, but its healthy to see.

        As time rolls on and women and men both realise that there is nothing stopping either sex from competing in sports, and especially motorsport.

      3. I think that you’re just confirming my statement, which is that had Sebatian Vettel or Michael Schumacher been born Sabrina or Michelle, their parents would not have been as likely to encourage or allow them to pursue motor sports. The undeniable link between being able to start your career early and your ability to be successful means that this barrier is the primary one which stands in the way of the development of more top tier female drivers.

        If the sport can do more to encourage, and yes sometimes even force and blow out of proportion, female drivers, then you’ll have more girls growing up interested in the sport and increasingly more parents purchasing little Michelle and Sabrina a Go-Kart for Christmas.

        1. If the sport can do more to encourage, and yes sometimes even force and blow out of proportion, female drivers, then you’ll have more girls growing up interested in the sport and increasingly more parents purchasing little Michelle and Sabrina a Go-Kart for Christmas.

          But if little girl was never even interested in motorsport in the first place, then what exactly is the problem?

          It’s not like she was interested but was discouraged? If she never wanted to do karting in the first place, then why force it? She doesn’t feel like she’s being discouraged or in a disadvantaged position if she doesn’t want to do it in the first place.

          I can see your logic that early start is important, but if you are not interested in something then what’s the logic in starting it in the first place? It will just be a waste of time and money until you become fed up and quit anyway. Doesn’t matter if you are a boy or a girl, if you are not interested in something, there’s no point in FIA getting all worked up to make you interested in it, unless FIA itself has some agenda to get you into their sport.

          As far as I can see by constant “appealing to new audiences”, most men can’t even be bothered to watch F1, let alone to make a spartan life journey to become a driver. :)
          So it’s not like hundreds of millions of women are trying to break into motorsport from all sides but are having the doors closed just because they are women.

          Maybe if I was born in USA, I’d want to become a NASCAR driver, but I wasn’t and I don’t care that I never wanted to either.

          Your parents need to instil the curiosity into your young mind and encourage you to follow your interests (not talking about drugs and stuff :)), but I think the FIA has a bigger problem in a fact that some countries don’t have any motorsport infrastructure while there are many boys (and girls) who have a dream of becoming an F1 drivers, and that’s where FIA needs to make sure the dreams are possible.

      4. I think what is being highlighted is that to become successful in F1 you need to have had encouragement and support from family from an early age, most parents would emphasize study for school rather than motorsports, and that’s the boys parents, for girls it would be a lot more than most, it is no coincidence that Danica Patricks Dad, Dan Patrick was a successful racing driver himself.

        1. Further to this and yesterdays Nascar article I watched the Daytona 500, pretty much confirmed my Nascar prejudices, if there was lots of overtaking (on the track) I must have missed it, what I did see was straight line and glacially slow. I was, as they say here, rooting for Danica who should have finished 3rd. but found herself stuck in the fast lane behind a slow car on the finish straight, since Danica never set Indycar alight it does make one wonder about the skill level of current Nascar drivers.

    5. Razia’s situation is a bit similar to that of Alvaro Parente in the beginning of 2010, with the same team: Parente had signed a contract with Virgin, now Marussia, to be a 3rd driver with a sponsorship of about 3 million euros from Turismo de Portugal, Portugal’s institute of tourism. It happened that they never gave the money to the team, and then claimed they had signed no contract. The team sued them and they were forced to pay, but it was too late for Parente, who had already been sacked. When they launched the team, they proudly presented him; when they lauched the car, he was no longer there.

      So Razia has to be very careful with the sponsors he picks, or he might end up in a situation similar to Parente’s one.

    6. Shame really. I really enjoyed watching Razia racing through GP2 last year. I thought he was aggressive enough and intelligent enough to deserve a spot in F1 this year. Watching Razia and Chilton fight it out this year in the same F1 cars was something I was also looking forward to. Shame that his career depends so much on his financial backing.

      1. As it should if the team had been promised some money and the sponsor then failed to deliver. Business is business.

        As @JPedroCQF1 above says, drivers need to check the sponsors is able/willing to pay up before committing to them. After all, there’s been rumblings for the better part of 2 years about the state of Venezuela’s sponsorship of Maldonaldo should Chavez fall from power.

        1. No doubt. And I totally agreed with you on that point. Marussia should be willing to dump him if his sponsors fail to pay up. Teams like Marussia need the financial backing and that’s the way it is with these teams.
          What I meant by shame is that I just personally wanted to see him compete because I thought his talents (regardless of how much sponsorship money he can bring) were worthy enough of a rise to F1.
          As for his sponsorship ordeal, I don’t think I have enough information to judge whether or not he is to blame for not providing the money. I don’t know if its entirely his fault if his sponsors promised money but at the last moment (when it counts) fail to pay. I think his sponsors have a lot to answer for in this case (by the look of things). I’m sure that he would have been convinced by his sponsors pledges that they would provide the money because his own career relies on it and would have helped him this far. I think we should also take into account how quickly he was signed after the sudden departure of Timo Glock. That surely would have complicated things.
          Either way, if he fails to pay for the seat, then he gets none. Question is, who gets the seat instead?

    7. Oh far out, is it that day again!? Almost forgot! :-/

    8. Thumbs up for COTD .

    9. COTD, wow, thanks so much!

    10. The problem with getting women into Formula 1 is that there is a double standard that instantly creates a lose-lose situation for the next female driver.

      At the very least, the next female driver in Formula 1 would have to be able to score points on a regular basis (allowing for variages in the car that might limit its performance at certain circuits), and would ideally be able to compete for podiums, if not outright wins. If she cannot do this, then she will no doubt be deeply criticised as being unable to stay afloat in Formula 1, and would likely do much more harm than good to the idea of women racing in Formula 1.

      But at the same time, male drivers can simply buy seats with no pressure to perform the way the next female driver will be. We have drivers like Giedo van der Garde and Luiz Razia who have forced drivers out of the sport who are arguably more talented, but lost their seats because they have less in the way of sponsorship. If the likes of van der Garde and Razia fail (and let’s face it: they probably will), it’s not going to do any damage to anyone but themselves.

      A female driver, however, doesn’t have the luxury of being able to pay for a seat. She effectively has to be Lewis Louise Hamilton. If ever she did pay for her seat, the team would likely be condemned for exploiting her for the marketing potential. Male drivers have no such problem. I suppose that this has to do with the way motorsport has been dominated by men for the past century, whilst the women-in-motorpsort phenomenon is only just starting to take hold. But it’s a double standard nonetheless.

      1. Thank God for a realistic, well thought-through view on the subject.

      2. Giedo is probably on par with Petrov, you’re familiar with Giedo’s record?

        He’s most likely not the next Vettel, but was Petrov or Kovalainen ?

        If Giedo’s performance is on par with Petrovs , I’ll see why not?

        If his sponsors are more reliable then I fully understand.

        in lower categories Giedo was challenging the likes of Vettel, Hamilton, and wasn’t all that left hanging by them.

        also in gp2 he was pretty close to Charles Pic , who in return challenged Glock several times last season.check

        1. Giedo is probably on par with Petrov, you’re familiar with Giedo’s record?
          Yes, I am. After winning the Formula Renault 3.5 title in 2008, he spend the next four years in GP2, acheiving absolutely nothing.

          in lower categories Giedo was challenging the likes of Vettel, Hamilton, and wasn’t all that left hanging by them.

          And in the more middling categories – like GP2 – van der Garde was left behind by the competition, whereas the likes of Hamilton was not.

          also in gp2 he was pretty close to Charles Pic , who in return challenged Glock several times last season

          I might be more impressed if Pic a) had beaten Glock on a regular basis, instead of just challenging him occasionally, and b) had not lost his team tenth place in the World Constructors’ Championship.

          1. The latter part (b)is true, except for Glock, he was no slouch either!

            Giedo was also victim of Bianchi more then once in gp2.

            But then again look at Maldonado.

            He’s been in junior formula several years but he seems to be right pub the pace!

            Give him a chance and maybe you’ll be surprised, but please first wait and see how he does.

        2. much the same can be said of Razia, unlikely to be a WDC challenger, and its not great to have teams put budget over talent, but he is no complete hopeless either.

          I don’t agree with you on that @prisoner-monkeys, if a female driver joins an end of grid team, I would say that her actually qualifying halfway respectably will raise interest, for the same reasons a Petrov podium surprised many, or indeed challenging for Q2 from either VdGarde or Razia (or for that matter Chilton or Pic) will be deemed a huge effort.

      3. I disagree with you here. Drivers like Giedo van der Garde and Luiz Razia ARE being criticised, namely by you for example. Furthermore, although they will most likely not be the next world champions, they do have a impressive racing resume. If Susie Wollf, for example, would be the next female F1-driver, we all know that she didn’t make it because of her racing abilities and therefore she will be criticised. If a female driver, who has been equally successful in GP2 as Van der Garde or Razia, would ‘buy’ a seat than I would not complain.

        1. Wolff doesn’t specifically say that she will be the next female driver.

          I’m not sure why you’re all being so quick to judge my comments regarding van der Garde’s performances, considering that they are only tangentially related to the point I was trying to make. I was simply highlighting the fact that he is a pay driver, and that I feel he isn’t talented enough for Formula 1 if his presence in the sport is goig to come at the expense of a driver like Timo Glock or Heikki Kovalainen.

          Assuming a woman makes it into Formula 1 in the next few years, then her means of entry has to be much more like Hamilton’s entry than van der Garde’s. Because she is going to be the first woman to enter in two decades, there is going to be an extraordinary amount of pressure on her to perform, and she needs to live up to it. Because if people think that she entered the sport at the expense of a more-talented and more-deserving driver – the way van der Garde has – and if she fails to deliver, then it’s going tos et back the idea of a woman racing in Formula 1. Whether or not van der Garde is capable of succeeding in Formula 1 is beside the point: the fact is that people, like me, believe he is the worst kind of pay driver – undeserving, untalented, and entering the sport in a way that makes the category weaker for it. And because we believe that, we can come to that same belief about any driver, and that is one of the major barrier that a female driver will have to come.

          1. It was not about Van der Garde. Let’s replace his name by Razia’s then, my point is still the same. What I meant is that the paydriver from today has more talent and is more successful than the paydrivers from the nineties. So what I meant was, if a female driver is as successful as paydriver Razia, I would not think it’s a problem if she got a seat.

            1. So what I meant was, if a female driver is as successful as paydriver Razia, I would not think it’s a problem if she got a seat.

              Even if her results to date had been underwhelming, and she replaced someone who was seen as more talented and more deserving of the seat?

            2. True, then that would be a shame. But it’s not like Kovalainen and Glock were the best invention since sliced bread.

          2. I was simply highlighting the fact that he is a pay driver, and that I feel he isn’t talented enough for Formula 1 if his presence in the sport is goig to come at the expense of a driver like Timo Glock or Heikki Kovalainen.

            this brings us back to the pay driver debate @prisoner-monkeys.

            Sure, its a shame that teams have to look at money more than absolute talent. And I am sure many a talent did not make the sport and is being passed over here too.

            On the other hand, I am almost certain that Heikki was not going to race anymore after seeing him mid last season – as the team explained, the good feeling just wasn’t there, for understandable reasons.
            Personally I feel disappointed that of all dutch drivers VdGarde made it, after having 2 seasons where he “has to go for the championship in GP2” and not ever mounting a serious challenge in those years. And I do think that Glock would be a more worthwhile addition to the grid.
            On the other hand, Razia was close enough to the title and its good to see both him and Valsecchi get to F1, if only to see how they compare to guys like Hamilton, Rosberg, Grosjean and Maldonado when racing with the top cars! I think Razia is pretty much comparable with Maldonado. Did anyone expect him to surprise (Kobayashi surprised) with a win last year?

      4. Bernie should pay Danika to race alongside Di Resta at Sahara Force India

        1. LOL

          She would beat him just like every other Formula One Team Mate Di Resta has had.

          1. You’re mean :)

      5. First: Van der Garde and Razia are no Karthikeyans or Délétrazes. Van der Garde has won the WSR 3.5 title and hasn’t done such a bad job in GP2 either. Same goes for Razia, who finished runner-up last year in GP2.

        Secondly, I really don’t see the fuss here. If there would be a woman with the same track record as Van der Garde and Razia, then she might get a seat in a backmarker team. She will then have a quiet year, like you expect Van der Garde and Razia to have in 2013 and she will probably never return to Formula 1 again. And that’s it.

        If she fails to establish herself as a Formula 1 driver, then that’s talent that is letting her down. There will be reports that say “this proves that women don’t belong in Formula 1”, but that’s just rubbish. If the first woman in Formula 1 ends up being a d’Ambrosio, then there is no doubt in my mind she will not harm the position of women in F1. In fact, I think the opposite happens: she will get praise for giving it her best shot and it will show to 8-year old girls that it is possible to make it into Formula 1.

        1. Well said. Let’s just hope that you are right: that the next female f1 driver will be praised for giving it her best shot and that she motivates more girls to start karting (although in Holland there already are quite a few talented girls in karts).

          1. (although in Holland there already are quite a few talented girls in karts).


          2. lets hope we get to be progressive in something again! Actually lately we have seen a lot of talent from the Netherlands getting into racing.
            Sure VdGarde is not going to rock the boat in a big sense, but we have Melker racing, Frijns upcoming, Nyck de Vries winning in Karting and some very talented others too. So hopefully one of them will beat Verstappen for being the most successfull Dutchman(Dutch-person?) in F1 in a decade!

            1. @andae23 already beat Verstappen for being the most successful Dutch F1 driver in our random F1 championship, but that is probably not what you meant… ;)

            2. … which is my greatest achievement in life so far (obviously). :P

            3. Lol Guys @andea23, @Matthijs

            4. uh, why do I keep typing that in the wrong order @andae23!

            5. @bascb because it’s a very weird name. ;)

            6. @andae23: Is Andae d’Hazorme your real name?

            7. @matthijs It’s not my real name, but I use it as a pseudonym. Most people actually know me as ‘Andae’.

            8. I’ve seen worse though.

        2. @andae23, haven’t done my research here but I think the “1st. female driver in F1” title is no longer vacant, probably hasn’t been in your lifetime.

          1. First woman in F1 since quite a while then?

          2. Yes, I would say many of us had not been born yet in time for the 1958 Monaco GP and I guess that not even a majority of the commenters here had been born before we had our first women point scorer at that Spanish GP in ’75 where Lombarid scored her champioship half a point (it was cut short after a crash left 5 spectators dead)

            1. @bascb, thanks for the research, did you notice the coincidence of the only woman to win a F1 (non WC) race in 1980 was driving a “Wolf” F1 car.

            2. Interesting isn’t it @hohum. Maybe its predestined that Susie will be the next F1 driver, eh.

    11. It’s actually weird that we want female drivers to compete against male drivers. It’s not like female runners compete against Usain Bolt at the 100 meters and it’s not for nothing that there is a Tour the France Feminin. In tennis, the number one Serena Williams will easily been beaten by the nr. 100 male tennis player. Men and women are equal, they are just not the same.

      1. There’s a difference between sports like tennis/cycling/athletics and motor racing/chess. Male are more ‘athletic’, meaning that in all sports where the physique is important (such as the first category) men will perform better than women. Motor racing is not like that, meaning that there would be no difference in a woman’s and a man’s performance in a racing car. The reason that most drivers in top levels of motor racing are male has more to do with ‘tradition’ I think. Same goes by the way for chess: the best chess players in the world are mostly male, while there is no real reason for men to be better at chess than women.

        1. Are you sure? According to http://edition.cnn.com/2008/SPORT/06/17/formulaone.fitness/index.html:
          1. F1 drivers’ hearts beat 190 times a minute in races
          2. Heart rate is above most other athletes, making aerobic fitness very important
          3. Drivers have to deal with forces of up to 5Gs during races. Without being in peak fitness they would not be able to handle the stresses of driving a Formula One car at 350kmh.

          There is a difference between stamina and strenghth, but the physique is very important in F1 nonetheless.

          1. Yes, that could potentially be a hurdle. But we can’t just assume that a woman can’t do that: only if a woman would drive a Formula 1 car for a complete racing distance, comes out and says: “I’m very fit, but I just can’t do this and I doubt any woman can”, then there is no place women in Formula 1.

            1. I am not saying that a woman can’t do it, I just think that it will be extra hard for a woman to be equally fit and strong.

            2. In fact womens generally smaller physique means that a greater proportion of women than men are suitable candidates for F1.

          2. But female can deal with or that easily mate. Indy is not F1 but Danika’s record says a lot.

            Plus, Serena can beat #50, how come you say #100 would beat her easily?

          3. Fitness is important, but F1 isn’t a direct test of strength/fitness. Assuming women can train themselves to a certain level of fitness (I believe the general consensus is that they can), they can then perform on par with male drivers.

          4. Without being in peak fitness they would not be able to handle the stresses of driving a Formula One car at 350kmh

            I disagree It’s not a secret that Kimi is not in the best shape he’s ever been and he copes just fine…

      2. Two things @matthijs – first of all, what @andae23 writes about being on a level playing field (board)

        The second thing – I am pretty sure that Williams at her top would hold her own against some of the players in the lower top 100 of tennis too. Sure, before female tennis started its rise in popularity, and with that, in professionalism, there was a huge difference. But if you look at the top level now, they are at an amazing level, even if the differences between peak power and endurance are there physiologically

        1. You might be right, but does it change my point? See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Sexes_(tennis)

          1. no, your point was easily put aside by @andea23 already @matthijs. Mine just added that while there is a big difference in physical power between male and female humans in general, once both put in comparable effort to have top performance both get to incredible levels (giving doping scandals, probably too high a level) and can be compared fairly.
            Similarly women football has come a long way since it got more popular (especially in the USA) in the last decades and when you compare they are different but not of lesser quality as such.

            1. your point was easily put aside by @andea23 already

              I don’t like the way you put me in my place here.

            2. tough luck? ;-)

      3. I think in modern F1, with power steering, semi automatic transmition and all the “comfort” drivers have its no longer true. Yes, there’s some physical demand here but I think a woman in top professional athlete condition could handle an F1 car and race no problem. The problem here has to do with education. In order to be a successful racer, the girl has to have a “boyish” education since she is small- she has to feel the incentive to play and like cars, have to feel the enthusiasm from the parents for motorsports, and the parents have to put her racing since a very young age. This is the main hurdle to develop a strong female driver. Our society just doesn’t consider a woman doing “extreme sports” gracious, or “feminine”. Would I like to see a female driver kicking man’s asses in an F1 grid. Sure it would be fun. But to see this happen requires some sort of either a Socialist Government approach to athlete development, or a small miracle. Or if one current F1 driver or Top motorsport racer only has girls as children :)

      4. I agree. I dnt want to sound sexist, but here in India, we boys get a motorcycle at the same time as girls. Yet girls find it difficult to control vehicles often crashing them. They ain’t interested in automobile stuff too….

        1. FAIL, @malleshmagdum – you have managed to sound pretty sexist. Do you mean to say that women in India cause a disproportionate amount of road accidents? Got any backup evidence for that? If we’re at anecdote level, I can say that I’ve seen a couple of accidents on Indian roads and some very poor driving, all by male drivers. In the UK until recently women got cheaper motor insurance because they are statistically safer drivers, but thankfully the EU has saved us from such sexist policies.

          1. @dirgegirl In a nation where accidents caused by women are ignored even by the traffic police and nearly 80% of the accident cases go unreported due to the tedious nature of getting the police and courts involved, u cannot find evidence. Plus we do not have an accident database like the EU. What I am saying is from what I see on the roads. And I am being liberal here.
            Almost everybody in India (girls included) believe that girls aren’t good drivers (of course there are exceptions). [b]Our college Principal[/b], when speaking on the topic said that most avoidable accidents involving college students are caused by girls.
            My sister and (girl)friend agree with the fact that most women are bad drivers.
            I just asked 6 of my friends on fb if they think that girls are good enough to drive on the road. They all replied in the negative.
            I have seen boys crashing bikes at 60km/h due to rash driving, but I have seen most girls crashing at 30km/h. I have seen these things over a decade here. So many instances of poor female reaction times.

            However I [b]do not believe[/b] that we should bring in a legislation that is against the fairer sex. They must be given equal rights and opportunities.

            And how do I say that I am being liberal?
            When I [b]informed two of my friends [/b]about Maria’s Marussia accident, one guy replied “I don’t know why they allow girls. They can’t drive!”
            and the other guy replied “Girls aren’t meant to drive, thats why we see em almost causing crashes here. (and just after he said this, a girl on her motorcycle just cuts across our path resulting in us having to brake hard on a road where we have right-of-way)” .

            I am [b]certainly not [/b]as sexist as the two above. If you still believe that I am being biased, I invite you to India and have a look for yourself and interact with the Traffic Police here.

            What I say stands true for [b]India only[/b]. I don’t know about the EU, so I won’t comment about female drivers in EU. Of course what I know is that EU is a better place to drive and certainly not as chaotic (and challenging) as our roads.

            1. Sigh. I don’t know where to start with this bigoted nonsense (“poor female reaction times” perhaps) so I won’t bother.

          2. @dirgegirl I dnt knw if its true, but I read an article on the web that says that more the level of testosterone, better is the reaction time.

            1. It might be partly, but the same testosteron makes people react more rash too, causing more accidents in return.

              I think that your comment above mainly shows about long standing and carefully guarded prejudices being very much part of society more than anything about the real abilities of human beings @masseshmagdum.

            2. eh, not sure what happened there with my writing – that was meant to be @malleshmagdum

          1. no denying that we hv women driving better than 99pc of us. Danica Patrick, Michele Mouton, or India’s very own Alisha Abdullah. @bascb @matt90 gotta credit u both fr ur very mature replies :)

            1. Lets celebrate all great drivers, whatever colour, race, gender or religion!

    12. @brace

      old-fashioned parents in case they might not want their daughter doing something too masculine

      “Old-fashioned” here being a transparent euphemism for “sexist”.

      1. I’m trying to choose my words. :)
        But on a more serious note, old-fashioned parents that are taking it too far are coming with a whole toolbox of crap for screwing up their own kids, sexism being just one of many unfortunately.

      2. @keithcollantine, a little harsh I think, the nature versus nurture debate is not settled but there seems to be more evidence that girls generally prefer more typically feminine pursuits than do little boys and vice-versa,regardless of nurture.

        1. And this of course was supposed to be an answer to Keith up above, site goes weird every now and then.

    13. I would say that this

      that only has to do with their interests, upbringing and maybe old-fashioned parents in case they might not want their daughter doing something too masculine like that.

      is exactly the phenomenon we are trying to change: the perception that motorsport should besomething “too masculine” for half of the world to participate in (in contrast with to be awed by and look good standing next to)

      1. But that is a difficult perception to change, because the issue isn’t just that motorsport is a male pursuit, it is that a an interest in cars, mechanics and driving (particularly quickly) are stereotypically male interests. There’s only so much the FIA can do to change that.

        1. This was meant as a reply to @bascb a couple of comments up.

          1. Well apparently I can’t post replies any more.

        2. True enough @matt90, so I guess starting as early as possible, and keep it going for a while without expecting much to show for it is the way forward.

          I already see Bernie putting in cringe worthy statements though if he really is pushing for more female drivers. Funny enough they do the job of grabbing attention to the issue quite nicely!

    14. And meanwhile futur F1 hopefull A Felix Da Costa jokes on Danica Patrick and women racing on twitter

      1. Yeah, I was also following that on Twitter. I think it’s just his humor, as some of his female colleagues didn’t really take it seriously. Unfollowed him anyway.

    15. Auto Motor und Sport is reporting that Renault are upset with the FIA after the moment.

      When Red Bull were called before the stewards at Hockenheim last year to answer claims that they were using illegal throttle maps, the FIA decided to close the loophole they had exploited by having teams submit engine maps to them in advance. According to AMuS, Red Bull and Lotus have been complaining to Renault that they’re now stuck with the engine maps they had to choose after the rule was introduced, because they have been planning their 2013 exhausts based on the engine maps that were being used before Hockenheim to make up for the shortcomings in their rear bodywork designs. According to Ross Brawn, they’re losing downforce on corner entry, and they’re not happy about it.

    16. I think that the ‘women in motorsport’ debate is very intriguing, as it is such a delicate subject. There is a very narrow band between discriminating women by not letting them race and discriminating them by giving women advantages over their male colleagues. So on one side, it is wrong that the best drivers in the world (i.e. the current F1 drivers) have all been male for the last thirty years. But on the other side it is wrong to force women into Formula 1 for the sake of having a woman in F1.

      There are two main reasons why women are not represented at the top level of motorsport. First is that there is discrimination (to some extend) that women may experience on the way up the ladder. Therefore it is important that the FIA introduces a working group for ‘Women in motorsport’ – which already exists.

      The second more important reason is that women are being ‘held back’ right at the start of their motorsport career. It is a fact that more boys aged 10 are in karts than girls aged 10, same goes for other male-dominated sports where men and women can compete against each other fairly (chess for example) – it is a fundamental problem that has nothing to do with Formula 1. Therefore I think that it is not the FIA’s responsibility to raise awareness for women in motorsport (or sport in general).

      I hear you think: if it’s not that, then what is the solution, andae23? Well, it’s a social issue and consequently I think society should figure it out themselves. If the emphasis on the differences between women and men is tempered (thus staying in that narrow band I described in the first paragraph), these sort of problems will disappear ‘automatically’. It is actually already happening in motorsports, as the number of women in karting and Junior series like GP3 has been increasing over the last ten years.

      1. Well, it’s a social issue and consequently I think society should figure it out themselves.

        Isn’t that what “society” is doing by debating it on a platform like this though, figuring out what and how (or whether anything at all) to do about it?

        I do think there’s a good reason for FOM and FIA to grab this opportunity and move it forward though. While motorsports are big, it does not seem to be as big or rising as fast as other big sports. So then getting more of the total population in on motorsports (and surely by getting both parents in a couple interested its easier to have their children be interested as well), is a number one commercial priority as well.

        1. @bascb

          Isn’t that what “society” is doing by debating it on a platform like this though, figuring out what and how (or whether anything at all) to do about it?

          Yes. But that doesn’t mean the FIA should do something about it. In my opinion, if the FIA picks this up, the difference between men and women is emphasized, which leads to people thinking that a lot of ‘other people’ think there is a difference, which does more harm than good.

          1. I think the sport should take every possible angle to show why its great if someone new and interesting gets into the sport.

            Be it Vettel and worshipping Schumi ages ago, Chandhok and Karthikeyan for being Indians potentially driving at the new Indian race, or indeed capturing fan interest with a possible drive for a US driver at COTA. Or Hamilton being the first black world champion. Or Mercedes returning to the sport.
            Its all about getting attention of people and get seats filled after all.

            1. @bascb Sorry, forgot to reply..

              This actually takes us back to the original discussion: a woman driving in F1 would be a great inspiration to women/girls, I won’t deny that, but if she doesn’t ‘earn’ to be in F1, then there simply is no place for her.

            2. if she doesn’t ‘earn’ to be in F1, then there simply is no place for her.

              we could take that literally (see Razia in today’s roundup)!
              As is true for every driver. I think the majority of us loves drivers getting into the sport for their ability to make the car go fast (and to the finish at least on occasion).
              But the reality is that drivers get in from paying a lot (yes, that is you Guido and you Pastor), having the right connections (Kobayashi, Vettel, DiResta) or even being the right nationality (Chandhok, Karthikeyan, QuMinHo, Ho-Ping, Alex Young, Petrov and to an extent Rossi) paired with differing amounts of skill. Personally I don’t see a problem if being female helps another driver who might not have been there if male would get her chance in F1 that way. And as with all of these drivers, some actually turn out better than expected (Kobayashi, Petrov for example).

    17. on a complete side note, just walked to Morrisons in Norwich and two Lotus (renult) trucks drove past… Any ideas why they’d be in Norwich or this part of country?

    18. I think the important thing here is that in motorsport itself, there is literally no barrier to female drivers. There are no rules which say that women are only allowed to compete in smaller, lower leagues, against other women. Girls are naturally expected to go through the same process as anyone else.

      So the problem is not with motorsport; not only is there equal opportunity for girls, if anything it could be argued that there is a genuine desire for a girl at the top level of motorsport so that in itself could be a boost to anyone’s career.

      There is a much broader issue which is the continual reinforcement of gender stereotypes in western society. In fact, far from becoming more progressive, the trend seems to be getting worse. One only needs to spend a few minutes in a toy shop to realise the horrendous ‘pinkification’ of girls these days which is almost inescapable. Toy shops put all of the creative, educational toys into the boys’ section, whereas girls, from before they’re even old enough to talk, are taught that they should be interested in looking pretty and having babies. Dollies and makeup being the two main types of toy marketed at girls, with dressing up being a close third. It’s no wonder that with these gender stereotypes being crammed down their throats from such a young age, that girls are left with these very strong ideas about what is and isn’t for girls.

      The second issue, and perhaps linked to the first, is one of drive and aspiration. When I was a teenager I had cause to be involved in national schools’ karting, and the thing I noticed is that there were a lot of girls there. It wasn’t 50/50 by any stretch, but maybe a quarter of the racers were girls. However as the years went on, it was clear that few stayed in the sport for very long, and I think it’s because these girls were at a slight competitive disadvantage compared to their male rivals. Not because they weren’t talented, but because the males had an aggressive attitude towards their own driving careers which the girls didn’t generally seem to match. Apply this to the wider world of motorsport, and it’s not hard to imagine that generally males are more aggressively chasing the opportunities, at the expense of female drivers.

      All of which means that consequently there is a far smaller pool of female drivers from which a genuine talent can emerge. And it’s important to understand that talent isn’t something which people are just born with. Perhaps some people have a natural aptitude which means that they are more likely to pick things up quicker, but any determined person should be able to develop skill in motorsport. Talent is something which grows and grows as the driver gains more experience. Even the likes of Alonso are still gaining experience, still growing, still getting better. Hamilton is a better driver now than he was this time last year. Next year he’ll be better still. Talent of the sort needed for F1 may exist as potential in abundance among the small pool of female drivers. But while they only represent a very small minority beyond the lower karting levels, it’s likely that these talents will never be able to realise their full potential.

      Role models are really important then. A female driver in F1, even a comparatively poor one, would be an incredible boost for girls in the lower leagues who are wondering whether motorsport is really for them. Suzie Wolff may be that role model, or maybe she won’t. But it is something that F1 needs. Because what you really need is more talent coming up the ranks, and a good female role model will dramatically increase the pool of talent. The first modern female F1 driver won’t be a champion. She may not even score a point. But the next one may be. Or the one after that. But you’ll never get there without that first role model to start with.

      1. I absolutely agree here. I have seen exactly the same thing while sailing (another sport where there is no reason for girls and boys to be separated, except maybe windsurf and light boats which depend heavily on weight and muscle). By the time I started doing World championships in HC16 which does not classify really in the later, our class of 30 which was 50/50 when we were 12 yo shrinked to a mere 1 girl for 5 boys when selected for the French system of helping children with their schedule between school and high level sports training when we were 17. And I know somehow the acceptance of our parents to do so varied whether we were boys or girls. It undoubtedly had an effect

    19. Breaking News Paddy Lowe will not make it to Melbourne he will be put into the “gardening leave” by his team
      Another time chapeau Eddie Jordon

    20. I, for one, do not want to see women racing in Formula 1. Women competing against men in sport is a joke, and not something I’m the least bit interested in watching. Bernie might think it a great idea in terms of his marketing-mind that’s always one-step away from being judged ridiculous or retarded, but in no uncertain terms I turn my back on female drivers, of whom there’s not one who’s better than the “worst” pay driver currently on the grid.

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