Can a Woman Be in Formula 1? Is F1 Mixed Gender?

Published 12/25/2021, 1:50 PM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 General view of the grid at the start of the race REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah


It’s for a reason that Formula 1 is regarded as ‘the pinnacle of motorsports’; it’s racing while pushing the limits of the very best and the cutting edge of things that automobile technology has to offer. But if there’s one thing that F1 still needs to cover up ground in, it’s more inclusivity.

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For decades, the greatest drivers in all motorsports have come from F1. Be it Juan Manuel Fangio, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost, Lewis Hamilton, all of them have come from F1.

But one thing worth noting is that all of those great drivers are male drivers.

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This is because women still haven’t found a way to compete in Formula 1, going wheel-to-wheel with their male competitors. It is something which we could see very soon, but unfortunately, something which hasn’t happened yet, minus a few exceptions.

Have there been women in Formula 1?

The issue isn’t that women haven’t been in F1, or haven’t driven in F1, it is that they haven’t competed regularly in F1. Many women in the past have fired up and raced on an F1 circuit during an F1 weekend. In fact, some have even taken part in an official Grand Prix.

Maria Teresa de Filippis became the first woman in F1 to take part in an F1 GP. She appeared in five races and finished P10 at Spa in 1958. Lella Lombardi was another such trailblazer, who raced 17 times in F1 between 1974 and 1976.

Other women who have featured in F1 are Susie Wolff, Giovanna Amati, Desire Wilson, and Divina Galica.

Is F1 mixed gender?

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On paper, there is no rule in F1, FIA or any other motorsports in the world that barres entry of women. So the short answer to the question of F1 being mixed gender is, yes, it is. But then again, it’s only on paper.

Simply because despite that, there haven’t been any regular women drivers in F1 for many reasons that include economics, grassroots level support and overall organizational problems. And even though there is W Series, a racing league specifically for women, it hasn’t really broken the barrier that women face in their entry to F1.

So, in the future, the right way to overcome this barrier wouldn’t be to create or boost a separate series for women but to promote them in the existing Formula 1.

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This will be the fairest and most apt solution, and fortunately, this solution could be applied in the near future.

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Shaharyar

484 articles

Shaharyar is a Formula 1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in future.

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