Helmut Marko says F1 a 'physical burden' too 'heavy for women'

  • Helmut Marko, associated with Red Bull has made some interesting observations about women in F1, implyin they may not be ideal for the sport
Dev Tyagi
Modified 25 Apr 2019, 16:55 IST


Is Formula 1 only a male-driven sport? Not that Red Bull’s Helmut Marko may have intended the discussion to go along those lines when his recent observations about women in F1 made headlines.

So what is the 75-year-old actually trying to say when he suggests that women are not strong enough to race in Formula 1?

“You have to be in peak fitness to race in Formula 1 and you need crazy power in your shoulders. In the old Gösser Kurve on the Red Bull Ring, you have to endure about 4G. That is a huge physical burden and possibly that is too heavy for women,” shared Helmut Marko recently.

But well, a question goes out to the former Austrian racing driver against whose name stand 10 races, 9 starts, 0 pole positions, 0 podiums, 0 career points.

If women aren’t capable of driving in the top echelons of motor racing, then how on earth have 5 racing drivers entered at least 1 Grand Prix event and where it stands today, many are coming through from places as far and wide as Saudi Arabia?

The above is a reference to Aseel-Al-Hamad, who, apart from becoming the first-ever female board member of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation and a member of the International Automobile Federation, broke the patriarchal mindset in the conservative Saudi Arabian kingdom when she got behind the wheel of an F1 car.

Surely in the sport’s glorious history starting from the maiden season, circa 1950, there’ve been numerous ‘male’ drivers who’ve taken the sport to where it stands today. The names of Senna, Fangio, Schumacher, Alonso, and Hamilton (among the many) have made Formula 1 a bastion of sporting excellence apart from giving a great deal back to a contest that made them in the first place.

Yet, it would be a bit parochial to think that women might not really be up to the sport when Lella Lombardi scored the first-ever points in F1 way back in the mid-seventies.

As a sport women aren’t exposed as much as men are in Formula 1. Right? But then, when a Sophia Floersch, the 17-year-old crashes in a high-velocity incident at Macau, and even then promises to bounce back, despite a near-fatal event, does it not tell a thing or two about the ‘female power’ and all that it aspires to do in a contest no stranger to death, one that consumed Ayrton Senna?


That said, it’s worthwhile to red Mr. Helmut Marko’s comments who went on to add,“If you drive 300km/h and then fight wheel-to-wheel, you must also have to be aggressive. I don’t know if that is in female nature.”

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Also Read: 5 Best Female Race Car Drivers Ever!

Published 25 Apr 2019, 16:55 IST
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