Wednesday, April 17, 2013

'Women don't have mental strength for Formula 1 and would find it tiring': Motor racing legend Sir Stirling Moss, 83, becomes embroiled in sexism row

Sir Stirling Moss has infuriated women drivers by claiming they are not mentally tough enough to  compete in Formula One.

He accepts they can cope with the physical demands of handling a  Formula One car, but believes the stress of a high-speed race is too much for them.

Sir Stirling, 83, who won 16 grand prix in the Fifties and Sixties, said: ‘I think they have the strength, but I don’t know if they’ve got the  mental aptitude to race hard, wheel to wheel.  ‘The trouble is, when you’re racing, it’s pretty tiring.

He added: ‘We had three-hour races in those days. You needed tremendous concentration. Now races are only one hour and ten minutes.

‘We’ve got some very strong and robust ladies, but, when your life is at risk, I think the strain of that in a competitive situation will tell when you’re trying to win.

‘The mental stress, I think, would be pretty difficult for a lady to deal with in a practical fashion. I just don’t think they have the aptitude to win a Formula One race.’

Only five female drivers have raced in a grand prix, the last in 1992.

But Sir Stirling’s comments were attacked by Formula One test driver Susie Wolff, 30, who said: ‘I completely disagree with him. It makes me cringe hearing that.

‘I’ve got a lot of respect for Sir  Stirling and what he achieved, but  I think we’re in a different generation.

‘In the days they were racing, every time they stepped into a car, they were putting their life on the line. But F1 is much more technologically advanced – it’s much safer than it was.’

The most successful female Formula One driver was Italian Lella Lombardi, who competed in 12 races in the 1970s and became the only woman to finish on the championship scoreboard when she earned half a point by coming sixth at the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix.


I imagine that race driving uses a lot of old hunting reflexes so men should have an inborn advantage there.


Anonymous said...

One must never, ever state the obvious about any favored group. Women, minorities of assorted colors, gays, certain religions, etc. The amusing part comes when what these groups want is in direct conflict. Gays vs. Islam for example. Let's spin the big "who's the most favored of all" wheel and see who wins today.

Anonymous said...

This is not an "obvious" about a "favored group." This is a statement based on one man's ill-informed decision about what women's "mental capacity" is.

You notice he did not question their "physical ability" to complete the course - but their "mental capacity."

The fact that several women have completed such courses (5, I believe, the article said) should put the obvious falsehood of this statement to rest.

Unless someone has scientific evidence that women are unable to process information for as long as men in race conditions, we should simply smile and accept that Sir John thinks like many old men his age, raised as they were in an environment that failed to recognize the abilities and worth of many women.

Anonymous said...

Strange that the left loves diversity in every area except thought. Express a non-PC opinion and the mock outrage machinery is immediately put into motion. It's his opinion and he's entitled to it. When a woman wins in this venue he'll be proven wrong. If one doesn't, and it hasn't happened yet, he'll be proven right. Simple enough. As an aside, all sports have a physical and mental component. They are inseparable unless one is referring to video game simulations, which are not sports at all.

Anonymous said...

F1 racing is a massive strain on anyone who participates. And, needless to say, it's not all physical. All he is saying is that, in his opinion, women lack the (emotional) ability to engage in F1 racing at the highest levels. Going 225 mph, only inches apart, and for hours on end, requires nerves of steel, at the very least. In fact, the overwhelming majority of men also lack that ability, proven by how few successful F1 drivers there are.

stinky said...

As w/all sports, let the issue be decided on the field of play.

Anonymous said...

It suspect it is just a matter of time...