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Ferrari's aim to add female driver to academy 'not just a marketing plan' - W Series CEO

  • Published on 23 Jan 2020 13:45
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Ferrari's hope of adding a female racer to its driver academy in the near future is not for the sole purpose of marketing, states W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir.

Ferrari spoke about its desire to add a female to its ranks in recent weeks, which was met with some backlash on social media, including from Sophia Floersch.

W Series was launched in 2019 as an all-women racing category, with Jamie Chadwick coming out on top in the six-round championship. 

The impression of female racers gained popularity following the maiden season of W Series, which will return this year in May.

Speaking to Crash.net, Bond Muir believes the last 12 months have been positive for female racers, and doesn't believe that Ferrari's comments and strategy is a marketing ploy.

“Obviously I would hope that driver would come from W Series," she said. “I know that Ferrari have come under some flack on social media here but what we all have to remember is that if we cast our minds back to a year ago, there weren’t very many women involved in motorsport at a high level.

“If you look back to the amount of times that you were writing about women in motorsport, it was much, much less than it is now. I think that is what we have to applaud.

"The tide is rising for all women in motorsport and I think what Ferrari are trying to do is to help that tide to rise.

"I don’t think it is just a marketing plan, I think that they really genuinely want to see if they can get a woman into F1.

“And if they can attract a young superstar and take them through their academy and be the first team to get a driver into F1 then frankly, hats off to them.”

The second season of W Series will kick off on May 30th at Igora Drive. The calendar has been expanded to eight races, including two that will support the US and Mexican Formula 1 rounds.

Replies (5)

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  • f1dave

    Posts: 726

    Sorry to say but until a female driver successfully works her way up through
    the feeder series like the men do it will remain a marketing device. The W Series
    is not a qualifier venue. (swapping cars between races, really ?)

    • + 0
    • Jan 23 2020 - 14:49
    • Agree, somewhat. The idea is nice, but in practice this does nothing but isolate the more leading female drivers from the male competition, meaning they don't really get tested against the male competition, and F1 do as is have a pretty thin line of sight when it comes to new drivers.

      • + 1
      • Jan 23 2020 - 17:19
  • Kean

    Posts: 637

    I wanna see good drivers, I don't care what's between their legs. If the W-series produces good drivers, then I'm all for it, if not then what's the point? It should be a battle between individuals, gender, race or whatever should have nothing to do with it.

    • + 1
    • Jan 23 2020 - 21:44
  • Bilstar

    Posts: 17

    Hey hey hey, they've gotta look for fast women. Imagine if they found a woman fast enough to beat HAM, VER, LEC etc, just IMAGINE. Overnight megastar, they'd be fighting off sponsors with a big stick and whoever found her could be very very rich. She'd be bigger than Jesus. There are a lot of women out there, lots of genetic combinations, lots of possibilities.

    You'd be an idiot not to look. An absolute total and complete idiot.

    • + 0
    • Jan 24 2020 - 11:35
    • And anyone sensible would love having female drivers in F1. Problem is, by creating a female-only series on this level, we A) do nothing to get more female rookies into the mix, which is what we desperately need, and B) by making this series and timing similar to eg F2, the drivers participating miss out on more direct experience vs the "known goldenboys", so they miss put on exp, and the bigwigs don't see how they fare against their favourite goldenboys. I will watch the w-series, might even enjoy the races, but I do have issues with how it's implemented.

      • + 0
      • Jan 24 2020 - 12:09

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