Moss: Women lack mental strength to succeed in Formula 1

Sir Stirling Moss

Sir Stirling Moss

Grand Prix legend Sir Stirling Moss believes that women are unable to cope with the mental stress involved in fighting for Formula 1 race wins.

The 83-year-old Moss made the comments to UK station BBC Radio 5 Live ahead of the premier of a BBC documentary on women in motorsport.

A female driver has not started a world championship Formula 1 race since Lella Lombardi’s final appearance at the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix.

“I think they have the (physical) strength, but I don’t know if they’ve got the mental aptitude to race hard, wheel-to-wheel,” claimed Moss, who is widely regarded as the greatest Grand Prix driver never to win a world title.

“We’ve got some very strong and robust ladies, but, when your life is at risk, I think the strain of that in a competitive situation will tell when you’re trying to win,” he added.

“The mental stress I think would be pretty difficult for a lady to deal with in a practical fashion. I just don’t think they have aptitude to win a Formula 1 race.”

Susie Wolf with current Williams race drivers Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas

Susie Wolf with current Williams race drivers Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas

Williams ‘development driver’ Susie Wolf is currently the closest woman to a full-time Formula 1 drive.

Labelling Moss’ comments ‘cringe worthy’, the 30-year-old Scot suggested to the BBC that the evolution of Formula 1 since Moss competed may explain his attitude.

“For Moss, it’s unbelievable that a female would drive a Formula 1 car, which is fair enough,” she said.

“In the days they were racing, every time they stepped into a car, they were putting their life on the line.

“But F1 is much more technologically advanced, it’s much safer than it was.”

American Danica Patrick is currently the most high profile female driver in world motorsport, taking pole for February’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series opening Daytona 500.

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