Stop us if you've heard this one: public personality speaks his unfiltered mind in a public forum, one of his unfiltered comments makes people go "OMG did he really say that?!", the Internet shock-and-rehash machine goes dynamo, public personality issues an apology. You didn't stop us, but we'll assume you are familiar with the formula, and Sir Stirling Moss is the latest in the automotive world to follow the script. In April, while a guest on a BBC Radio 5 special, Moss said he believed women "have the strength, but I don't know if they've got the mental aptitude to race hard, wheel-to-wheel" and win a Formula 1 race.

People who didn't even know they had hackles got their hackles up over that one. Moss was also publicly rebuffed by Susie Wolff, a test driver for the Williams F1 team who happens to be a woman. Interestingly, Wolff apparently did say she trains harder in order to be strong enough, but she was talking about muscular, not mental, fortitude.

As for Moss, on May 9 Wolff let everyone know via Twitter that Moss called her to apologize for his comments. Wolff said it was buried, ending the tweet with the same comment she made after the BBC interview aired: "He's entitled to his opinion."


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      k_m94
      • 1 Year Ago
      Back when Sir Moss was racing, women seldom left the kitchen. Of course he'd see the highest tier of racing as a gentleman's only sport, and for the most part it is. But times are changing.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @k_m94
        [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
        Jarda
        • 1 Year Ago
        @k_m94
        indeed, today we frown on people who are not PC
        A A
        • 1 Year Ago
        @k_m94
        When you hear Moss speak during F1 races ... he often goes on rambling. The guy is 83yrs old, I'm sure not many people are going to put too much weight into this.
      mostchillininsc
      • 1 Year Ago
      Stirling Moss is a douche bag for making the comments in the first place... Typical of the the douche bag traveling circus known as F1...
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 1 Year Ago
      Apologizing for the truth doesn't help anyone. You don't have the right to never be offended.
        Teleny411
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        There are tactful ways of stating your beliefs in a way that are not offensive. That's not being politically correct: it's called politeness.
          Teleny411
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Teleny411
          You can make your point in a way that reflects your opinion, but is not offensive to your neighbor.
      johnhkart
      • 1 Year Ago
      When a woman is fastest, clears off into the sunset and whips the competition in Indy, F1 or NASCAR or even Grand Am let me know. It's never happened yet. Desire Wilson's win doesn't count, that was in a non top level racing series of cast off of aged , loser drivers and equipment. Danica's win was a fuel mileage gamble and she never came close to winning again. Other than that brilliant Martinsville drive shes mostly been driving around in 34th, like she will later today. The comments were not unfounded. Tired of these ***** take backs of comments. Say it and mean it.
        Teleny411
        • 1 Year Ago
        @johnhkart
        Don't forget women are just getting their chances in pro motor sports. Give it time and they will be well represented.
          Rich
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Teleny411
          They've had there chance at a ham sandwich since BCE and still asks for help,
      Tony Miller
      • 1 Year Ago
      Let's not forget most of the people here drive sedans with a wing. Front wheel drive sedans with a wing. Their opinion means nothing. Automotive losers to the core...
        k_m94
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Tony Miller
        What do you drive Mister?
        Rich
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Tony Miller
        I had your opinion of FWD with wings... until I took a slickback RSX took a track day at Thunderhill... then we switched to the ugly "shopping cart wing"... made tracking the rear predicable,
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Teleny411
        • 1 Year Ago
        Funny. The worst driving I see daily in NJ is by men, ie tailgating, the "Jersey swerve," speeding over 100mph, and of course wrecking. I've seen idiots doing the Jersey swerve while towing and losing their hitch. So don't blame bad driving on women. Men do enough on their own.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Teleny411
          [blocked]
      mike.spinner
      • 1 Year Ago
      Legendary driver from a different era, but he's said some worryingly homophobic and misogynistic things recently.
        Teleny411
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mike.spinner
        He is a senior citizen, so I think he earns a little slack in that regard. My mom isn't at the top of her game anymore either.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Teleny411
          [blocked]
      mylexicon
      • 1 Year Ago
      What Moss said is true in general so I don't think he should be admonished for making an empirical observation, which also has some foundation in biological science. The problems start when the industry takes a true generalization about female competitors and then tries to shoehorn prospective female drivers into the negative generalization. Not a good idea. Shows weakness of intellect, and it's against the law. However, Susie needs to quit bleating. In the pantheon of professional drivers, she isn't particularly close the the sharp end. Her success relative to her female competitors and her marital connection that landed her an F1 test pilot job. Furthermore, F1 test driver is an elite professional motorsport occupation, and millions of men would kill for her job. For Susie to whine about male bias and stereotyping is more offensive than Moss' politically-incorrect opinions. Welcome to a man's world, Susie. You will be beaten until it stops hurting. You will be trolled until you are unflappable. You will be stereotyped and judged until you transcend categorization. If you fail to meet expectations, you are classified as beta. All respect is revoked from your male peers, and all admiration and respect is revoked by any female love interests, until you demonstrate some sort of competence, steely resolve, and compassion in the face of tribulation. If this is not for you, put on a pant suit, and work in the sterile, soft-lit world of corporate middle-management.
      Gregg Alley
      • 1 Year Ago
      Let's not forget that Shirley Muldowney won three NHRA world championships.
        NissanGTR
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gregg Alley
        Slamming the throttle and holding on doesnt count. Thats luck.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gregg Alley
        [blocked]
      Zeus
      • 1 Year Ago
      This whole thing is ridiculous and wreaks of political correctness. Stirling Moss is from a different era, a different philosophy on driving, cars and people in general. He is without question a legend and has forever left his mark on the sport. Having said that times have changed and women are doing more and more than they ever have in history. Why can't a woman be F1 champion. I don't see a reason. I don't think it's highly likely, but look at Michele Mouton. She was incredible. Granted she did lose the title to Walter Rohrl, but Rohrl was absolutely mental and an absolute legend in WRC. I'm not saying women can't do it, I'm just saying it hasn't been done and based on that Stirling has a valid point. You don't see women winning everything in motorsport left and right. They don't take an interest though and thats partially why. Some where out there there is a woman who could win an F1 title, but she maybe isn't interested in the sport at all. Everyone likes to bash someone in our day and age because we've all been told to be PC and not speak our minds if they go against the grain. Get off Stirlings nuts and let him express himself. While he never won an F1 title, he has been there and is entitled to his opinion because of it. Personally I agree with him and I will until someone proves me wrong, specifically a woman holding up a big trophy at the end of an F1 season. If you're a woman and you don't like it....do something about it. Go compete and show the world you're bigger than the status quo.
      Shawn
      • 1 Year Ago
      Someone should get Susie some cranberry juice...
      Rich
      • 1 Year Ago
      You almost were admirable Mr. Moss.
    • Load More Comments