Reactions to Sir Stirling Moss’ comments on female drivers have flowed fast and furious in the last 24-plus hours, and been decidedly negative.
The comments have created a firestorm in the last day or so as Moss, widely regarded as the best driver to have never won a Formula One World Championship, made the remarks in a BBC Radio interview.
A handful of thoughts include those from NBC Sports Network Formula One pit reporter Will Buxton, in his blog which he called “Crumpet-gate.” Of Moss, Buxton says his opinions are “plain wrong,” but also says those asking for his opinion should have known precisely what they were going to get.
Jalopnik editor Matt Hardigree called Moss “not just wrong, but wrong in a particularly offensive and sexist way.” Alex Lloyd, a four-time Indianapolis 500 starter and former IndyCar Series rookie-of-the-year who now writes for Yahoo! Autos, says Moss ignores the accomplishments of the current crop of female racing drivers.
“I still admire Moss… but comments like this are uneducated, old-fashioned and idiotic,” writes Lloyd.
One of the female drivers currently competing on a national stage, Pirelli World Challenge driver Shea Holbrook, took to RACER magazine to assemble on op-ed of her own describing the struggles she has faced throughout her career and what it takes to press ahead.
“I understand Moss is from a different era but in today’s world there’s a difference between tradition and equality,” writes Holbrook. “I can handle ‘old-school’ mentality but his comment, whether he intended it to be this way or not, was absurdly sexist and badly thought through.”
Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.
The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.
“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.
“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.
“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”
The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.
Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.
Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.
McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.