In the latest episode of, "Do us a favor and keep your mouth shut," Stirling Moss has been quoted as saying that he believes women lack the mental fortitude to compete in Formula One. "I think they have the strength, but I don't know if they've got the mental aptitude to race hard, wheel-to-wheel," Moss said during a BBC Radio 5 special on women in F1. He went on to say that F1 drivers needed tremendous concentration in his day. He continued with, "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."
We're sure it has nothing to do with the mountain of sexism that stands between women and success in motorsports in general.
The 83-year-old Moss is a legend in the racing world, having won 16 Formula One Grand Prix events during some of the sport's most dangerous and harrowing times. Between 1948 and 1962, he competed in 529 races ranging from F1 to rally and won a staggering 212 of those. But a pedigree doesn't excuse his comments.
Susie Wolf, who is currently in her second season as a test driver with Williams, disagreed with Moss's statements. "It makes me cringe hearing that," she said. "I've got a lot of respect for Sir Stirling and what he achieved, but I think we're in a different generation. For Moss, it's unbelievable that a female would drive a Formula One car, which is enough."
Wolf isn't alone. While F1 has been difficult to access for female drivers, nearly every corner of racing has seen spectacularly talented and successful women drivers compete on nearly every level. There's Janet Guthrie, the first woman to compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500, Shirley Muldowney who won three championships in Top Fuel drag racing, and Lyn St. James who raced the Indy 500 seven times, including her last appearance in 2000 at the age of 53, to name just a few. Even Moss's own sister, Pat Moss, saw some success as a rally driver. Then there are today's women in motorsports, which are quickly becoming too numerous to count, none of whom received more attention than Indy/NASCAR driver Danica Patrick.