Susie Wolff believes that a lack of role models and young girls engaging with motorsport at a young age makes it unlikely that a female driver will race in Formula 1 soon.
On Wednesday, Wolff announced that she would be retiring from motorsport following the Race of Champions at the end of November.
In 2014, she became the first woman in 22 years to take part in a grand prix weekend, appearing in four practice sessions with Williams over the past two seasons.
In an article written for The Huffington Post to coincide with her retirement announcement, Wolff said she believes that F1 is ready for a woman to race and succeed, but doubts it will happen anytime soon.
“Do I think F1 is ready for a competitive female racing driver that can perform at the highest level? Yes,” she wrote. “Do I think it is achievable as a woman? Most definitely.
“Do I think it will happen soon? Sadly no.
“We have two issues, not enough young girls starting in karting at a young age and no clear role model. Sometimes you just have to see it to believe it.”
Wolff has been the leading female role model in F1 over the past few years, and has no plans to step out of this role with her retirement, wishing to continue to inspire the next generation of racers.
“These issues I want to address,” Wolff said. “I want to give something back and help the next generation.
“Together with the MSA (Motor Sports Association) we will launch a new initiative aimed at celebrating the woman succeeding in motorsport on and off the track now plus highlighting to the next generation that motorsport is an option for them. I dared to be different, I want to inspire others to do the same.
“I am excited for the future. With this door closing now, I look forward to opening the next. Onwards and upwards.”