Lotus development driver Carmen Jorda has given her support to the formation of an all-female grand prix series to run alongside Formula 1, calling the idea “fantastic”.
Over the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone confirmed that he was considering the creation of a series exclusively for women to get more female drivers racing and into the higher ranks of motorsport.
Williams’ test driver Susie Wolff is the leading woman currently participating in F1, having taken part in two practice sessions for the team during the 2014 season.
Wolff has made her thoughts clear in the past, saying that the sport would benefit from getting more women racing in an organic way instead of forcing the matter.
However, Jorda explained to the official F1 website, F1.com, that the sport should follow the example set by other sports and establish an all-female championship.
“Nowadays you see women competing in their own championships in most sports: football, tennis, skiing – you name it – and in none of these championships are men and women competing against each other,” Jorda said.
“So the question is ‘why not have a F1 world championship for women?'”
Jorda believes that one of the biggest problems holding women back in F1 is the reluctancy of sponsors to invest in drivers that they believe cannot compete.
“They believe that a woman cannot win in F1,” Jorda said. “That’s why I think a female F1 championship would be the right answer, and there are prominent supporters to that idea, as we have seen lately.”
Jorda joined Lotus in a development role at the beginning of the season after a rather underwhelming junior racing career, but is now taking it step-by-step in a bid to get a full-time drive.
“We are planning the season around testing the E23 Hybrid for the first time, and for that I have to get ready,” Jorda explained.
“It will need a lot of simulator work. Don’t forget, it’s my first year in Formula 1. Then let’s see what happens next year or the year after.”