Red Bull ace Max Verstappen team consultant Dr Helmut Marko during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan. Picture: Dan Istitene/Getty Images
Red Bull ace Max Verstappen team consultant Dr Helmut Marko during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan. Picture: Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Red Bull honcho says Formula 1 too strenuous for women

RED Bull's chief adviser Helmut Marko has said F1 is "maybe too difficult" for women to compete in alongside men.

Only two women have ever made a start in F1 - the last being Lella Lombardi, who competed in 12 races between 1974 and 1976.

Maria Teresa de Filippis started three races in 1958-59.

The all-new W-series, created to give more of a chance for women in motorsport to shine, is set to launch in Hockenheim next month but Marko has poured cold water on the idea that they will make it to F1.

The 75-year-old doubted women were strong enough to cope with the immense G-force that comes with racing in F1 or the heat of the cockpit and therefore none of those competing in the W-series would graduate to Formula 1.

"These are huge physical demands, and that is maybe too difficult and too strenuous for women," Marko told Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung when asked whether he he could foresee a female driver taking part in a Grand Prix.

"If you're driving at 300km/h and have a wheel-to-wheel fight then brutality is part of it. I do not know if that's in the female nature.

"There are now power brakes, but still you have to go in there with a lot of effort.

"You're encased, and temperatures in the cockpit are 40, 50 degrees. The hot cables run past you.

"We've seen top drivers who were just about to collapse in Singapore, and I think the physical strain is way too big [for women drivers].

"You have to be fit in Formula 1, and you need an insane power from the shoulder.

"These are huge physical demands. And that is maybe too difficult and too strenuous for women.

"Why do we not see Serena Williams versus Novak Djokovic in tennis?"

News Corp Australia


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