"I don't know whether a woman would physically be able to drive an F1 car quickly, and they wouldn't be taken seriously," Ecclestone said in London, The Daily Beast reports. His statement ignores that Susie Wolff was an accomplished test driver at Williams for several seasons.
Ecclestone has voiced a negative opinion on women in F1 for a while. In a 2009 interview with The Times newspaper in the UK, he made an ill-advised joke about the marketability of diversity: "I would love to have a good lady race driver and preferably black and Jewish, too, but they might take maternity leave."
While Ecclestone is clearly against women racing in F1, he doesn't seem against them in motorsports in general. In 2015, Ecclestone suggested creating a support race exclusively for female drivers. "For some reason, women are not coming through - and not because we don't want them. Of course we do, because they would attract a lot of attention and publicity and probably a lot of sponsors," he said at the time. Then again, Bernie also said in 2005 that "Women should be dressed in white, just like all the other domestic appliances," a comment ARCA driver Leilani Münter still takes exception to.
People are defending Ecclestone who said in 2005 that "women should be dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances." *SMH*— Leilani Münter (@LeilaniMunter) April 20, 2016
After taking his latest jab at the chances of women in F1 this time, Ecclestone apparently didn't want to ignore the opportunity to bother even more people. He also offered his unique opinion on Donald Trump becoming US President. "I think he'd be fantastic," Ecclestone said, according to The Daily Beast. "Putin would tell him what to do."