Sebastian Vettel accuses F1 boss of insensitive language about female drivers | Formula 1 News


Sebastian Vettel accused Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali of being thoughtless and using insensitive language when he suggested there was little prospect for female drivers in the sport. Speaking to reporters during the Belgian Grand Prix, the four-time Aston Martin world champion said the Italian former Ferrari chief had used “a very unfortunate choice of words”. Domenicali told reporters on Wednesday that “realistically, unless something like a meteorite comes to Earth, I don’t see a girl coming into F1 for the next five years.”

He qualified his comment, but the words made unwelcome headlines, according to Vettel, although Domenicali explained that F1 was working on initiatives for greater equality and inclusion.

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F1 is promoting the women-only W Series by holding races during Grands Prix this season.

“We believe that in order to give girls the chance to be on the same level as the boys, they should be the same age when they start fighting on the track,” Domenicali said, but his throw-away rule could not be withdrawn.

Vettel knows Domenicali from his days at Ferrari and said his choice of words could disrupt women’s dreams.

“I know Stefano,” said Vettel.

“And I didn’t read it exactly, but it was a very unfortunate choice of words, because it’s such statements that probably all girls and women face as they grow up and share their dreams while having breakfast.

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“Then the father may have just read that statement and made it clear to her ‘you like other things – why not focus on other things?’

“So, it’s important that we don’t say these things because I don’t see any reason why we can’t have a woman on the grid. I think the challenges we face… they could be facing women.”

The 35-year-old German said he would motivate women to live their dream rather than discourage them.

“So I’m doing the opposite,” he said.

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“I encourage every girl at the breakfast table to speak up and prove Stefano and all these people wrong.

“I think this kind of stereotypical thinking is slowly disappearing, but it needs to go away completely.”

Only two women, both Italian, have ever entered an F1 World Grand Prix Championship.


Maria Teresa de Filippis competed five times in the 1950s and Lella Lombardi took part in 12 races in the mid-1970s.

Lombardi is the only woman to score points – she won half a point by finishing sixth in the shortened 1975 Spanish Grand Prix.

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