Women lack mental aptitude for Formula 1 - Moss

(111 Posts)
nenevomito Mon 15-Apr-13 12:10:22

Former British racing driver Sir Stirling Moss believes women do not have the mental skills to race competitively in Formula 1.

BBC news story HERE

So, is it down to lack of metal ability, or is it because like most sports, F1 and other car racing is still male dominated, so women may not have the same opportunities?

frosch Fri 19-Apr-13 08:27:50

Don't get me wrong; the attitudes held by a minority of men in motorsport, at grassroots and top-end, are incredibly sexist and it's those men that make the big decisions within the sport BUT change is a-coming.

BoredWench's opinion that no orgies of willing girls going on as has been suggested further up the thread is, unfortunately, not one that I can concur with.

Beverley Turner pissed off a lot of the paddock when her book came out; a lot of people felt that they'd been used, believing that it had been her intention all along to 'expose' the paddock behaviour, rather taking the job through a genuine love of F1. However, her book didn't even scratch the surface of what goes on. Here's an old link gives a brief oversight.

TeiTetua Fri 19-Apr-13 02:10:04

"Thatcher may have had grit, determination, drive, ambition and a huge ruthless streak in spades."

All qualities that might make a good competitive race driver. As for her talent versus those others, I don't know and I'd claim nor does anyone. Could she get out there and merge herself with the machine, risking her life to win? That is the question.

Pendeen Thu 18-Apr-13 23:29:32

"I'm sure Margaret Thatcher could have done it, but she unfortunately wasted her talents in a different field."

Thatcher may have had grit, determination, drive, ambition and a huge ruthless streak in spades.

But natural, raw, sheer, gifted and God-given talent?

A la Fangio, Moss, Brooks, Clarke, Stewart, Lauda, Senna, Prost, or Hakkinen?

No. She was utterly without talent.

JenaiMorris Thu 18-Apr-13 20:44:58

Lessthan I disagree. Look at the reaction to Moss's proclaimation, and the links frosch and EauRouge have posted.

Of all sports - particularly the high profile ones - motor racing is one of the least sexist.

frosch Thu 18-Apr-13 15:53:41

Thanks EauRouge and good luck Alice! And in recognition of the fact that the FIA are making making an effort in recognising women's contribution to motorsport, here's the FIA's page, worth a read...

EauRouge Thu 18-Apr-13 14:53:20

Good article about it here. Good luck to Alice Powell, I hope she gets the sponsorship she needs.

TeiTetua Wed 17-Apr-13 14:15:46

I'm sure Margaret Thatcher could have done it, but she unfortunately wasted her talents in a different field.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 17-Apr-13 06:39:38

This is a really interesting thread, thanks all.

Lessthanaballpark Wed 17-Apr-13 01:05:29

I think that the fact that the nation is having a debate on whether or not women have the mental aptitude to be F1 drivers could be responsible for putting a fair few future female F1 drivers off.

There is some young girl out there with amazing racing potential taking all this in. And being put off.

But then we can't expect Moss to think of that can we? I don't expect he'd know what self-fulfilling prophecy meant if it bit him on his arse.

SomethingOnce Wed 17-Apr-13 00:04:48

It amazes me that women are allowed to drive at all.

The Saudis have got it about right.

[harumph]

ImperialBlether England Tue 16-Apr-13 23:31:32

I laughed my head off this morning when I heard this. I really thought it was an April Fool joke. The poor bugger sounded so earnest when he was talking, as though anyone listening would think, "My god, that man has a good point!"

Fillyjonk75 Tue 16-Apr-13 19:21:27

It's a bit like saying men aren't clever enough to be primary school teachers. Can be hard to people to break into something which is dominated by the other sex.

grimbletart Tue 16-Apr-13 18:57:29

Lucky you! I bet you remember Webber's stunning overtake of Alonso up EauRouge. 2011 I think?

Am derailing thread, sorry.

EauRouge Tue 16-Apr-13 18:37:18

He says I can have them when he's gone, like hell will I be selling them though! I've also got some gorgeous Ferrari prints that a friend gave me, I really need to get around to getting them framed. There's an amazing one of Eau Rouge.

ticklycough Tue 16-Apr-13 18:23:19

I actually grimaced when I heard this on the radio when I was driving to work this morning. What was the man thinking?!

DisorganisednotDysfunctional: Interesting hypothesis, but I just googled Damon Hill and he has (if anything) a thinnish neck...so not sure if this is true. Possibly a myth spread by men perhaps!!

grimbletart Tue 16-Apr-13 18:21:08

EauRouge wow they must be collectors' items now. Get him to hang on to them, they might make you a pretty penny in the future. Don't let him do what I did - throw out all my wonderful pristine copies of the Eagle and missed out on a small fortune sad.

JenaiMorris Tue 16-Apr-13 17:55:58

Bored, one of those two girls is blinding. It's really got up the noses of some of the junior alpha male types. I always will her to win - she's a far better driver than the ones who rely purely on aggression and flooring it. If anyone out of that lot is going to excel in the racecraft someone quoted Jenson talking about upthread, it'll be her.

JenaiMorris Tue 16-Apr-13 17:55:44

Bored, one of those two girls is blinding. It's really got up the noses of some of the junior alpha male types. I always will her to win - she's a far better driver than the ones who rely purely on aggression and flooring it. If anyone out of that lot is going to excel in the racecraft someone quoted Jenson talking about upthread, it'll be her.

grimbletart Tue 16-Apr-13 17:50:20

adjusting downforce was simply an example of course...they an do pretty much everything except make a cup of tea.....

EauRouge Tue 16-Apr-13 17:49:19

Grimble, my granddad was at that race, and the 1951 one. He still has the programmes with all the lap times that he's written in.

It has really changed now, it's all geeks with computers. The technology is amazing, I don't think many people realise that a lot of the safety features on their road cars began in motor racing.

grimbletart Tue 16-Apr-13 17:43:40

F1 in its early days is a whole different sport to F1 today really. As an oldie I remember dad taking to me to Silverstone in 1950 as a little girl to watch the first-ever grand prix won by Farina -in an Alfa Romeo. Never forgotten it, or the subsequent years I went to see F1 with all those wonderful early drivers, especially Fangio, arguably the greatest of all.

It was a horrendously dangerous time to drive GP cars and many of my 'heroes' were killed - Collins, Salvadori, Lewis-Evans, Rindt, Peterson, Jim Clark and and many others, including of course in later years, Senna.

I guess Moss's attitude is simply those of the 1950s where girlies were expected to don pinnies and wash dishes leaving all the mentally challenging stuff to the blokes.

Funnily enough as F1 has become ever more about strategy and not simply a blast from pole to chequered flag, and drivers have multi buttoned steering wheels on which they adjust downforce, see
www.autoweek.com/article/20130128/f1/130129798
perhaps we should take advantage of the stereotype of women being able to multi task to say that they should be well at home in an F1 car. grin

DeepRedBetty Tue 16-Apr-13 16:42:03

Really interesting to read stuff by people involved in current F1 and motorsport... I have to admit most of my direct knowledge came from listening in to conversations after meals when df was still alive and used to have old racing friends over for Sunday lunch etc, so stopped in 1980 sad.

Boredwench Tue 16-Apr-13 15:42:20

Jeni...I'm not involved in karting so I couldn't comment but that doesn't surprise me. The actual 'drivers' side of the whole motorsport industry is the most sexist, there's defo female drivers out there I only tend to notice them popping up at the highest junior levels (ie stuff such as the Ginetta Racing Series). Oddly enough I think America (for all it's ills) does quite well in comparison with a handful of women competing in the top Indycar series.

I think I forgot to mention earlier was aswell as seeing a genuine winning female driver (we don't want to see special aids used as an excuse) there's also the danger factor to deal with. I know the F1 world was rocked to its core at Maria's accident last year, it seemed even more unpalatable to see a beautiful woman nearly decapitate herself and the appalling subsquent injuries. Motorsport is much safer these days but I think the danger side is often unappreciated in the mindset of viewers. It's along similar lines to seeing female soliders mutilated and killed in frontline army service, something the general population isn't comfortable with (in relative terms, as no injury/death is enviable).

JenaiMorris Tue 16-Apr-13 15:28:40

Is anyone here involed in karting? I must have seen 70 at least 10-15 year olds race, of whom only two are girls. If this is typical and it doesn't change, it gives a very, very small pool of talent to recruit from.

JenaiMorris Tue 16-Apr-13 15:23:57

This has been an interesting read, particulalry posts from those (you know who you are) who have some actual links with motorsport.

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