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Motor Sports

Why are there no female F1 drivers?

Why are there no female F1 drivers
Women motoring. Photo/Sky Sports
  • The absence of a significant female role model competing in Formula 1 is a primary factor
  • Secondly, most F1 drivers start out as young boys who train for years to perfect their skills
  • Sponsorships deals for F1 drivers tilts more in favour of men than women

Throughout its history, Formula 1 is stereotyped as a male-dominated sport prompting questions why are there no female F1 drivers.

However, just six women have ever attended a Formula 1 race weekend, and even fewer have raced in the sport’s history.

In the past, women were not encouraged to participate in motorsports, hence the lack of female Formula One drivers. Few women managed to break through Formula 1’s glass ceiling due to the sport’s exclusivity and the absence of positive role models. The situation may, however, evolve in the not-too-distant future.

F1 has major strides toward including female drivers and increasing their visibility. This explains the addition of the W series as a supporting race. Eventually, this may pave the way for women to compete in Formula One, but there is more on why are there no female F1 drivers.


Nothing in the rules precludes a female driver from taking part in Formula 1. Although women’s Formula 1 drivers have not achieved the same level of success as men, they have been there.

It’s not uncommon for women to compete as drivers in other forms of racing. Female race car drivers are in abundance, from Danica Patrick to Sophia Flörsch and Alice Powell. Nonetheless, getting to the top of the racing world is difficult.

Leilani Münter

Leilani Münter. Photo/ Organic Authority

Some of the famous female Formula One drivers who dared quash the narrative on why are there no female F1 drivers include:

  • Maria Teresa de Filippis (1958-1969)
  • Lella Lombardi (1974-1976)
  • Divina Galica (1976-1978)
  • Desiré Wilson (1980)
  • Giovanna Amati (1992)
  • Susie Wolff (2014)
  • Leilani Munter (2003-2006)

It is possible for a woman to succeed as a Formula 1 driver despite the widespread belief they can’t handle the physical demands of the sport. However, today’s society often features female jet pilots, who endure the same or greater physical strain than F1 drivers, demonstrating the fallacies in the notion that the sport is too physically demanding.


It’s strange that over three decades have passed without a female driver competing in the Formula One championship. So, what’s a good reason why are there no female f1 drivers?

The lack of female drivers in Formula One is primarily due to financial constraints. Raising and maintaining a budget through sponsors is exceedingly challenging for any young junior driver aiming to enter the single-seater motorsport ladder.

A team will typically want a financial commitment from you before allowing you even to approach one of their machines. Back in the day, it cost almost half a million pounds to compete in a season of British Formula 3, leave alone Formula 1.

Today, you need more than $2 million to run an entire season of FIA Formula 2 on the F1 support package for a race weekend.

Besides financial constraints, the following factors explain better why are there no female F1 drivers.


Driving a Formula One car is a physically and mentally demanding occupation due to the nature of the sport. Therefore, Formula 1 drivers are top-tier athletes because of their severe physical demands.

Everyone who enters the sport, not just men, must put in a lot of time and effort training their bodies and minds for the demands of racing. This racing fitness level is earned via many racing seasons at progressively higher junior levels.

Why are there no female F1 drivers

Tatiana Calderon, Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team Test Driver. Photo/F1


It’s common for aspiring Formula 1 drivers to begin their careers at a very early age. Most current Formula 1 drivers got their start in racing by the time they were six years old.

Historically, there isn’t much of an effort put into encouraging young girls to participate in sports as there has been for young boys. That doesn’t mean women can’t rise to the occasion.

It just means they are never encouraged to try. Men have the same difficulties as females when seeking to break into F1 after only a year or two of motorsport experience.

The difference is that more boys than girls are exposed to the sport at a young age.


The absence of a significant female role model competing in Formula 1 is a primary factor explaining the dearth of female F1 drivers.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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