Motorsports Monday: There could be an all-female Formula 1 series

Here’s everything you need to know about the wonderful world of motorsports this week.

Susie Wolff Williams F1
Williams F1 test driver Susie Wolff. AP

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone told the press at last week’s Malaysian Grand Prix that female drivers may benefit from having their own racing series.

According to CNN, Ecclestone hinted that an all-female series, an undercard to F1, could be in the works.

Not since Lella Lombardi‘s 12th place finish at the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix has an F1 race featured a female driver.

In recent years, F1 teams have begun to incorporate female drivers into their development programs, with Williams and Lotus fielding Susie Wolff and Carmen Jorda, respectively, as test drivers.

However, Ecclestone also poured some cold water on the idea when he told CNN that the races may ultimately not happen at all. However, if the series is a go, it will be at only two or three Grand Prix weekends per year.

Ferrari F1

Pirelli racing boss: Formula One should pattern itself on NASCAR. Paul Hembery, motorsports director for Formula One tire suppler Pirelli, told the Guardian that F1 and its drivers should take a page out of NASCAR’s playbook. The Pirelli boss believes that F1 needs to become more fan friendly and offer greater levels of interaction and access to race attendees.

Hembery also advised that F1 build their drivers up into brands in the same way that NASCAR has created superstars in Jeff Gordon, Jimmy Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

“In Nascar the driver is the king. Even the guy at the bottom is a superstar with a multi-million dollar contract, ” Hembery said. “I would love to see our drivers held in that esteem.”

He added, “In F1 the driver has to become an international superstar, like David Beckham.”

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