One day a female driver will be seen lining up on the Grand Prix grid again, feels McLaren driver Jenson Button. There has not been a female driver to appear on the grid since 1975, but Button has spoken out about how women should also be given more opportunities in motor sports at an early age.
"It is possible. The big issue is that I don't think women are given the opportunity at an early age. There are a couple of women racing in Nascar, have actually won races," he told the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity on Monday. "I think it will change over the years, get women in [at] lower levels but it is a very demanding sport. It is specific training and taking time to get race fit. I personally think it's possible."
Many believe the biggest obstacle preventing females from participating in F1 is a lack of muscle. Ron Dennis, chairman of McLaren Group, was sitting with Button on a label and appeared more circumspect on whether women could make it in F1, saying that "men physically outperform women".
"Some people lost sight of what the objective is. When you lost sight of what you are doing, then you lost sight of what it takes to be a world champion," Dennis said.
Italian Giovanna Amati was the last to try to get on the grid when she failed to qualify in 1992. The only woman to appear on the scoresheet was Italian Leila Lombardi who finished sixth in the shortened 1975 Spanish Grand Prix and was awarded a half point.