Spanish women

Carmen Jorda became a Formula 1 development driver not because of her results driving racing cars. Finishing 28th in GP3 in 2012, 30th in 2013 and 29th in 2014, with a best finish of 13th, is not the raw material from which F1 careers are hewn and her appointment seemed inappropriate at best. When the announcement was made, in February 2015, the head of the FIA’s Women in Motor Sport Commission, the distinguished rally driver Michele Mouton, described the appointment as “a marketing gimmick” and said that there were much better choices available. The implication was very clear: Jorda had landed the role more because of her looks (and, perhaps, her money) rather than her ability. At the time Lotus needed the money and did not much care how the appointment was viewed. Jorda faded out of the sport last year, but popped up again a few days ago by saying, rather unwisely, that “it’s not fair to be compared with men because we will never be on the same level”. One can understand this remark if she was speaking only of herself, but other women racers did not agree.

“I think some of us have proven differently,” tweeted Simona de Silvestro.

Women in motorsport is, of course, a subject that gets lots of people charged up, for a wide variety of different reasons. Mouton says that she thinks that a woman can be in F1, “if it is the right girl, with the right skills and the right opportunities”. Women, she argues, do not often get a chance with a top car; they do not get sufficient testing.

“You need all of that but I am sure that a girl can do that,” she said. “The big question is whether a woman can win in Formula 1 and I am not sure about that. That is a different question. Men and women are different. We are not built the same way and I think the biggest difference is in terms of emotions and sensibilities. I never had a problem going at top speed with a 300 ft drop right next to my car, but on a race track when you are doing 300 kph down a straight you feel more exposed, or at least I did. I think that women have a stronger sense of self-preservation than men. It is an instinct that is more developed in the woman than in the man. And I think that is important when you come to the last tenth of a second. A woman can work up to the top level but men will just do it. Boom. Flat out. I hope that I am wrong in my analysis and that it is not really like that, but that is what I think.”

Nonetheless, Mouton and the other members of the commission have been working to try to convince more women to become involved in the sport in many different roles, including engineering, officiating and so on and it is clear that the barriers are coming down. A walk in the F1 paddock these days reveals many more women than used to be the case, and they are doing different jobs.

Ferrari has just announced that it is taking on a different Spanish woman to help it improve its performance in F1. The team is struggling with reliability and it has called in Maria Mendoza, Fiat’s head of powertrain quality control for Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Mendoza has been a quality control engineer with Fiat since 2008, after joining the firm from the Avio Aero aviation company. It may be too late to fix problems in 2018 but her addition to the team will strengthen it in the future.

78 thoughts on “Spanish women

  1. There’s no shortage of women in motorsport. They’re on the grid every week…holding a sign and looking perfectly happy.

    A female friend of mine (that’s a banker, may be related) suggested that once wealthy women become interested and involved in a sport, things like grid girls start to change.

    She couldn’t care less about them and neither could I but it does ring true with the idea that “money talks”. F1’s marketed towards wealthy men with grey hair (whether it likes it or not) and it will be interesting to see how this changes in the future.

    1. You obviously don’t know very much about F1. The paddock has lots of women doing different jobs. You have a hobby horse about grid girls. Try opening your eyes a little wider.

      1. Open my eyes?!

        With the greatest of respect Joe, like the vast majority of fans I’m a TV viewer without a paddock pass. Try watching it on the TV, you won’t see a single woman apart from a dishy presenter, grid girls and maybe a women holding a microphone for interviews. Claire Williams is the only occasional exception.

        1. That’s why you read this column to understand more about what happens. So if I say there are more women in the paddock, it’s probably not wise to dispute it.

        2. That is not true at all though Josh. When you look at the pre race footage from both C4 and from Sky (or RTL, etc), especially things like Ted’s notebook where he goes behind the garages, you see quite a few women on pitwalls, in the garages (and sure, also many of the PR people). Sure, there are still far more men around than women, but it’s clearly changing already.

        3. Josh,

          You’re incorrect there, open your eyes a little wider, even from sitting on your sofa watching f1 on tv, just the same as I do.

          This year McLaren had its travelling women members that attend Grand Prix’s do a practice pit stop. Not only did it show very clearly the number of women in F1, and this is one team remember, the team competed the pit stop in around 2.5 seconds. A great time with little or no practice.

          Mercedes f1 also recently posted a video on-line demonstrating how many women were employed at the factory in a variety of roles from engineeering, aerodynamics, inspection and fabrication. To accounts, catering and legal roles. Have a look on YouTube.

          There are lots of other examples and I’ve not even mentioned the important roles performed by Ruth Buscombe, Bernie Collins, Tabatha Valls, and Sophie Ogg and countless other ladies.

          Kris

        4. What TV channel do you watch? Cbeebies? Even watching some of the rubbish, usually Croft ringing his hands like a ringers used car salesman, Lazenby looking like he waiting for an ambulance to fly by with a story inside or ANYTHING with Jordan in it you see a number of woman, many who don’t carry a flag or board. For my money, Lee McKenzie is far and away the best non ex driver in the spoken media.

          You need to get out more.

      2. Nothing to be added
        (I like grid girls and I believe albeit they do not have a complicated job, this should be acknowledged as a temporary job for students / young people and that’s it; we could and should increase it a bit by introducing them and interviewing them — they should be treated as part of the show. Most likely, in 5 years they won’t be anymore a part of the show, due to a tendency towards political correctness — which is a very good tendency — but, in this case, regrettably 😉

        1. Joe, you’re the only guy who tells us about the women in F1. So, why don’t you? You keep repeating that there are more than we realize. OK, I believe you. So, why not do a story about the roster of them?

          Absent that, you can’t expect people to know…

  2. My very personal view, being a father of three girls and two boys, is that a big problem for women is how late they get to the sport. I believe that it is a cultural thing. Girls are raised to do “girl things”; boys are raised to do “boy things”. That Sebastian Vettel clip driving a kart at the age of 3 is telling, as is another clip of Felipinho Massa racing Daniel Ricciardo for bragging rights. As parents, we handicap our girls by not creating interest in motorsport until they are nearly teenagers. I’ve tried with limited success to get my little girls interested, but there is resistance from other family members and competition from Disney Princesses, burping/pooping baby dolls, Brats and a myriad of other “girly” activities designed to squeeze every last dollar from my wallet and distracting potentially talented girls away from racing.

    1. I believe to know that it is foremost a question of interest; you cannot interest a boy in cars when he prefers puppets and that’s fine; talent puts through, in average (!), I strongly believe (although the believe of the individuum really is not the point 😉

  3. Hasn’t Danica Patrick demonstrated conclusively that women can be competitive in motorsports? Of course she’s no Senna or Schumacher, but she came from a 1000 times smaller pool of potential talent.

    1. i don’t believe she has. You need to define “Competitive”.

      Don’t want to bash Danica, but she is/was a one off, who leveraged her looks and personality into marketable rides in Indycar and NASCAR. One Indycar win, winless in NASCAR. A mid-pack driver in NASCAR who apparently lost her sponsors.

      Although she is currently out of a ride in NASCAR, I am interested to see where she will turn up.

      1. The size of the talent pool is everything. It’s why huge countries like US and Russia win so much. Considering how few women are started karting or any type of racing under the age of 10 compared to boys, it’s amazing there have been any women in pro motor sports. Get even 25 percent of the youth racing pool to be women and we’ll quickly find out they’ll much be much more competitive. Will the best of the best women be better than the best of the best men? Probably not, but you’d likely find a handful of GP women who can win an occasional GP.

  4. wisely put, Sir Saward ! I say “men are better in switching their brain off” and that is what Mdme Mouton, a great Heroe in Racing, said. More important is that women are as intelligent as men are. Always enrichening to have them on board.
    [this is why there shall be racing series for girls & women; could be as interesting and appealing as women’s football or tennis — with the difference that then, half of their sport’s attraction would not derive from their great and unrivalled grace]

  5. For interest, a young Spanish lady won the SSP300 race at Portimao a few weeks back – this is the World Superbike Series equivalent of Moto3 (or F3 if you prefer) – in what was a hectic ‘elbows out’ race – so perhaps another step forward

  6. It is simply better to have female race series from the very ground up. There will never be enough girls competing with boys to have the numbers required to get regular female driver in top flight racing. The issue with this and other feminist issues(yeah, yeah, I know, save it!) is the insistence that women can be as good as men at anything. Immediately in that mindset the male is the reference point. The pinnacle of what is achievable. It is stupefyingly self-defeating. Women fail the very second they acknowledge the “superiority” of male achievement because in doing so they denigrate every achievement women make in sports where women compete separately. An F1 ladies world champion can and should be as prestiges as a ladies Wimbledon champion.

    A women can do many things a man can do but why should they have to or even want to do that?

    1. Pat Moss, who was arguably as successful in her era as Michele Mouton, was never happy if she only won the Coupe des Dames on a rally, which was a Big Thing for manufacturers back then.

      I remain curious as to why women seem to do so well in NHRA drag racing.

  7. I don’t believe for one moment that “… women have a stronger sense of self-preservation than men…” For a start we’ve seeing a lot of women doing jobs that put their lives in dangers, working as Apache pilots, firefighters and front line soldiers. There are just not the number of women drivers, to enable the sorting out of the wheat from the chaff.

    Many men are equally worried about being hurt. Look at the number of drivers and motorcycle racers, who achieve great times in practice and fail dismally when it comes to racing, close racing especially. Even in F1, only a few drivers always make great starts and gain places, others regularly drop back and don’t take the opportunities available.

    1. no one said that this is a black-white theme. We have a sliding scale of testosterone and progestogene (as far as I understood). But by trend, more men are (single-minded / focused) hunters and more women are preservers (of the species) and resources — if I didn’t get everything wrong now 🙂

  8. KABOOM! That’s the sound of the internet whenever this topic is raised …

    I think a more pertinent question than ‘why aren’t there female drivers in F1’ would be to ask why aren’t there many/any female drivers in F3, GP3, F2, etc. The response to why no female drivers in F1 is really ‘where do you expect them to come from?’ The journey to the top of the motorsport pyramid is a ‘winnowing’ process so in order to stand a chance at the top there needs to be a sensible proportion of female drivers in all the lower formulae. One could ask the same question about why are there no drivers in F1 from Luxembourg or Greenland – the answer is (in part) just down to numbers.

    Joe has said many times that F1 is driven by results so any team would jump at the chance of a potentially race/championship winning female driver and all the sponsorship she would bring in.

    1. right, also a point to consider ! [and when it comes to F1, perhaps also the brutal G-Forces; that’s why we need female racing series; and a proper talent sourcing]

        1. Firstly, neither men nor women are entirely capable of dealing with the G forces; they are all impacted to some degree. Secondly, Sally Cox – Britain’s first fast-jet combat pilot – seems to demonstrate that women are capable of dealing with the 9G in manoeuvres without any more undue effects than men.

          That’s one example, but there are many others. The US air force have stated that women and men perform about the same, sometimes tipping towards women as shorter people, in general, deal with high-G situations rather better and obviously men tend to be taller.

        2. But is there a difference between sustaining G-forces in the cockpit of a jet and a racing car? Eye-muscle coordination actions/movements are very different. In a race car under high G-forces, one has to make small movements that have a major impact within a relatively constricted setting. In a jet one has a lot more room/space to manouvre.

          So does upper body strength make a difference when one has to make small and very precise movements under high G-forces?

          1. “So does upper body strength make a difference when one has to make small and very precise movements under high G-forces?”

            Ask Robert Kubica who cannot hold a glass of water with his right hand…

        3. Joe,

          > No women are quite capable of dealing with the G forces.

          Did you mean to have a comma in there after the “No”? On first reading I (and some other posters from the looks of it) took it to mean that you were saying that women couldn’t cope with the G-forces, which surprised me to hear you say. But then a later comment from you made me realise you probably meant the opposite.

      1. look at fighter jets (and astronauts) sagosac. Women astronauts and Pilots in neither of those have more trouble with G-forces than males do – it just needs training to build up to withstand them regularly

        1. the thing with Jet Fighters is a legitimate point ! But I do not know sufficient details about it — I only know that there are israeli women flying these rockets; but I am not aware of any competition / comparison

      2. not to mention the many top class female aerobatic pilots who routinely deal with higher G forces for longer than anything F1 can throw at you!

        It is, as BasCB says essentially a matter of training. I’ve done this myself between my first ever aerobatic flight (only just managed not to be sick) and the second (problem free) some weeks later. I can testify it works for a middle aged, slightly flabby bloke so supremely fit female racing drivers should have no problem!

        1. There is quite a difference between 5G downwards (in the pilot’s frame of reference) in a plane (helped by a G suit) and 5G lateral in a car.

          Apples and Oranges.

            1. There is no reason to differ physicaly women and man. But, air-pilot G suit lowering G effect. That I can say by experience. So, it is not same as in car.

  9. Good to see more women in all roles in motorsport.

    As you say there’s definitely a few more ladies on the pit wall now than there used to be a few years back, when they were largely confined to PR and catering roles.

    There’s certainly been a concerted effort across a number of industries and universities to get women involved in STEM careers over the past few years, so it great that the fruits of that effort are to be seen in F1 and other technical industries.

    Women as F1 drivers is possibly a little more difficult, both because of the limited number of opportunities for testing, and the physicalities of driving a modern F1 car. More drivers (of both sexes) would get an opportunity if the testing rules were relaxed to allow more people the chance of a go in the cars and to do so more regularly.

    If the teams are prepared to keep looking for the next Danica Patrick (the first name most people will think of when asked to name a lady racing driver) they’ll find her eventually. There’s a young Columbian lady Tatiana Calderon who’s scored a couple of points finishes in the GP3 series this year, who might have future promise if she can get some testing. I think she’s been doing some sim work for Sauber this year, but that’s not the same as testing in the car.

  10. I always thought Rallying was even more dangerous – and scary than track racing. Mouton more than earned her spurs.
    I would have thought the number of girls going through the ranks is the issue,
    the odds – numbers wise – count against them. The only logical barrier would be physical strength ( is it ? ). And when one women makes a significant breakthrough then more young girls will want to take part.

  11. Anyway I am happy that there are not too many / no macho comments on your blog, Sir Joe. The first time I really watched women’s football / soccer was at the WC 2007. I watched a full game. I was puzzled about the level of technique and especially that all shots on the goal were targeting the angle — such great sports ! And when it comes to women’s tennis…just gorgeous…just wonderful sports

  12. Here’s hoping sincerely that Maria Mendoza brings “a stronger sense of [self] preservation” to the Ferrari garage.

    Any idea who she is replacing, if anyone??

  13. I raced in karts and was beaten by women. One young lady is doing really well in KZ2 gearbox karts, and they are extremely physical to drive (some F1 drivers use them to train, Verstappen raced one only 4 years ago?).

    A few of the women I raced against stopped after karting, even fewer moved into cars. Several of them were very talented and had the beating of guys who went onto higher formulas. Outright Scottish champions have been women (no comparisons to our football please). I’ve tried various junior formula cars below F3 and they are all way easier to drive vs karts on a physical level.

    I think it’s motivation and opportunity until a certain level, after that I’m sure the successful women would have to be exceptionally strong physically to compete, but that’s not a impossibility (many women at the gym are stronger than me by a long way). I would love to know how strong you have to be to hold an F1 car steady through a high G corner. A gearbox kart is bloody difficult at less than 2G, although it has no power steering.

    So I think not enough women get through to the junior formulas, and after that you’re probably looking for a stringer than “average” lady to succeed. Probability pretty low unfortunately.

    Oh, and I like grid girls, but then again I’m a dinosaur and like looking at attractive women.

  14. Re :Fiat’s head of powertrain quality control

    Well that’ll fix Ferrari’s reliability woes! Get some of that bulletproof FIAT quality in there.

    1. +1.

      I don’t know about FCA EMEA *powertrains* specifically, but my subjective assessment of FCA Europe quality & reliability isn’t that great.

      Now against that, perception lags reality, and as well the gap between best and worst performance in the industry generally has narrowed a lot. Even so…

      Can anyone offer an informed take on whether Mendoza’s background is likely to help her move Ferrari forwards?

      And if so – has F1 generally fallen behind the general automotive industry on quality management these days?

  15. I think Mouton is quite spot on with her analysis. Or the best analysis I have seen so far anyway. As far as diversity of any kind in the paddock lets see a few more people of colour instead of just a handful. That would be good for the sport also. Hamilton has grown the diversity of the F1 fan base almost single handedly and its time for those new fans from different backgrounds to see some others. We know they are qualified and out there but as not everyone may know, a lot of recruiting in F1 comes from the posher side of British society especially in marketing and hospitality. Having said that though, if Lewis can come from a council estate to drive in F1, why can’t someone from the same background/upbringing or a female become a top engineer or a marketing manager or driver etc. Maybe we are just not seeing the full impact yet of these positive changes that are taking place for women and minorities in the sport and need to just let it play out a bit longer. As far as female drivers in F1, we should remember we are talking about 20-22 available jobs filled by racing drivers who are the best in the world. It is a very small club when matched to the general population so maybe F1 is not the best example or best placed to solve inequality in motorsport or in general.
    Having said all that I do see a noticeable difference in the last few seasons as far as diversity in the paddock and long may it continue as it will do nothing but good for the growth and image. As long as it is done right and not in a fake way such as you describe with Carmen in your article. No matter gender or colour you still have to be the best at what you

  16. I don’t think there is a problem for individual females getting into the sport and succeeding if they have the talent to do so, if anything for a driver I’d say they have an advantage for PR etc. From karting I must have raced against thousands of males but probably less than five females, what are the odds of one of that tiny fraction being the next Senna, or even Luca Badoer? If we want to get more women drivers or women in engineering roles etc it’s not really about talking to teenagers or young adults, by this stage on the driving side girls are vastly outnumbered by boys so probability-wise there is little chance of girls getting to F1.

    On the engineering side it’s the same, I studied psychology at university (I’m male) and was one of a handful of men on the course, psychology probably isn’t the best route to a career in motorsport (apart from sports psychology perhaps). My male friends all did engineering or computing courses with only one or two females on the course.

    The reason why we have no female F1 drivers and many more men working in motorsport is down to the early years. By the time you are a teenager you are probably going down one route. It’s either down to boys genetically having a predisposition towards ‘manly’ things such as cars and girls for ‘girly’ things like dolls or it’s society that tells boys they should be playing (and then wanting to drive) cars and girls they should be playing with dolls. An F1 blog probably isn’t the place to find the answer to the nature or nurture question!

  17. I am of a certain age, where I watched Michele Mouton race her Audi, and she was very impressive, plus one needs to only look at who she raced against, and in the same team.
    I don’t think many people have seen inside the factory of an F1 team, and the females that work there. There are some extremely talented female engineers there.

    I think we are just waiting for that unique breakthrough talented female to set the place a light, and then the gates just might open up a bit and say maybe she can do it…..

  18. There is something more manic about rallying and while Ms Mouton may be quite happy with a 300 ft drop, I would far rather the 300 kph on the flat.
    Kimi got bored with F1 and went rallying, so did Kubica, the skills are quite different different. But there have been lots of women in rallying, is it seen as safer? In theory the greater risk is with the speed of F1 e=mv² whilst the tyres in rallying are rarely in stationary contact with the road/track/mud/gravel/ice sheet or whatever, but rallying is less predictable ad it only takes one slip listening to what the co-driver said three or four corners back, is what you are now hitting. So it could be that rallying is more scary while F1 theoretically more dangerous. Still we dont see many female TT racers, a sport where the brain must be removed before the start. (they are all nutters, look at Guy Martin the Dunlops etc)
    So it is not down to guts and the modern woman can take the G force and I put forward that the reactions needed in ralllyng are just as fast as for F1 and continuous.
    No it comes back to an amalgum of all the comments above, the social pressure, the lack of money and opportunity and for those that overcome all that, then there are just not enough to produce top class F1 drivers, yet!

    Still in todays hyper sensitive, ultra ludirously politicaly correct, atmosphere we may not be allowed to call them female, girls or women for much longer, nor the blokes blokes either!

    1. right ! To waver through a forest at unnatural / surreal speed is more worrying to me, too — and pacing by Bottomless Pit (Pikes Peak) even more so

  19. Sniff Petrol skewered Jorda’s role at Lotus at the time quite mercilessly:

    “Lotus also jumped to defend their new signing after a rough ride from fans. ‘It is offensive and completely irrelevant to focus on Carmen’s lack of ability,’ said a team spokesman. ‘She has joined the team to do a job, and that job is to get photographed looking attractive in our overalls’.”

  20. I’d love to know the back scene politics — with stereotypes in blazers — before the appointment of Michele Mouton as an FIA figurehead. She is intelligent and beat the lads in top rallying. It must have been a risky appointment, a woman who says what she thinks.

  21. I think it comes down primarily to the opportunities that present themselves. Yes, there are plenty of women in the racing world, but many more men. And only fraction of all these aspiring racers get to the top level, and by that reasoning, very few are women…who tend to get more opportunities in IndyCar and NHRA than in Formula 1. It is somewhat similar with Japanese drivers…certainly Takuma Satō or Kamui Kobayashi (among others) were good enough to be Grand Prix winners, but the top teams would never seriously consider putting them in their car.

  22. Its interesting to see how Carmen Jorda’s role in F1 is often seen as a “marketing gimmick” and somewhat of an embarrassment by those on the inside of the F1 bubble yet Susie Wolff’s own involvement is pretty much on a par yet she appears to have been fully accepted by the paddock – her racing results were perhaps marginally better than Jorda’s but throughout her career she had failed to beat any teammates and in a DTM career spanning 7 complete seasons managed only a pair of 7th place finishes as her only points scoring feats.

    Having Toto on one’s side clearly appears to have created a sycophantic culture concerning one driver, while a comparable one is derided (although she’s given herself a rod to beat her own back with her latest quote).

  23. For precisely the reason Michele Mouton has mentioned – about women being different to men in terms of their sense of self-preservation which is more for women than men – I believe there should be a separate championships for women. Tennis, athletics, soccer, volleyball, cricket, basketball, and even snooker, have it that way, so why should it be different in motorsports?

    1. Mouton and Pat Moss had the single minded determination to succeed an a ‘mans’ world where phyical attributes are important. The only female sports person that i can think of is the late Allison Hargreaves who was a climber.

  24. Sophia Floersch could, and should, be given a crack at F1… Results in karts, GJC and ADAC F4 along with association with Nico Rosberg/Georg Nolte “Ruhmservice” gives her every chance. Seriously fast, totally fearless and fabulous with her fans makes her the complete package IMO

  25. If only there was a suitable* 25+year old lady F1 driver available to take the available Williams seat, Martini would have a field day!
    *Suitable = Sufficiently experienced & talented to get the results required.

  26. I think the lack of lady drivers harks back to the more dangerous era of F1. A dead or maimed female driver would have been seen as a PR disaster for a team. Ladies I’m sure are capable, given half the chance.

  27. Simona told me she did a large chunk of last year’s Bathurst 1000 with a non-functioning coolsuit. That takes balls. Carmen does have a lovely smile though.

  28. Joe, any opinion on today’s Will Buxton article regarding the Scuderia [particularly what is said about Arrivabene]?

  29. Ayrton Senna once said that karting was the purest form of racing. In karting, you could find many girls racing: Marta Garcia, Beitske Visser, Michelle Gatting. Sophie-Marie Kumpen, Max Verstappen’s mother, even won championships. But to succeed in car racing, you need competitive equipment. Imagine a very talented girl driving an Adrian Newey designed car with the most competitive engine. Imagine the Red Bull cars of 2011 or the Williams of 1992 driven by… two girls with a certain amount of talent. Without a doubt, one of them would have become World Champion.
    But men will NEVER allow this to happen, because once proven that women are able to beat men in a sport fuelled by machismo, Formula 1 will simply die. Letting women win in Formula 1 would be suicidal for the sport: imagine a podium with 3 women on it, especially in some very conservative countries… Imagine those men “beaten by a girl”… Male drivers and sponsors would pressure the governing body of the sport to avoid the embarassing situation.
    Besides myself, not many would be happy.

    1. If you have a racecar that’s superior you don’t need to be a woman to win a championship. Ask Damon Hill. Winning a championship against competitors in similar competitive race gear is the target.

  30. As I have perhaps commented before I find it interesting that in recent years a number of sons of former drivers have become F1 drivers yet not a single daughter so far. Drivers in other forms of motorsport have done it: Urs Erbacher and John Force for example but not F1.

  31. There have been a number of woman never given the ultimate chance, like Desiree Wilson. The real issue currently is we don’t have a woman driver of that talent, if we did the marketing men would have her snapped up

  32. I can not think of one team who would not pick a female driver if she was as good as her team mate, the money from sponsors would be huge.

    If I was a team owner I would search the world for her.

    Female, talent, money.

    1. @Darren,

      What about Sauber and Simona de Silvestro then? In spite of a woman, Monisha Kaltenborn, heading the team at the time, the talented Simona was eventually passed off due to alleged sponsorship issues a year after the announcement was made that she would eventually step into the race seat.

      1. It was not alleged, it was real. If the money had been there she’d have been given a chance. She did well in her one test.

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