Christian Horner says Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko's suggestion that female racers were unsuitable to race in Formula 1 were misunderstood and that the team would be keen to help female racers make it to the top echelon of motorsport.
"If you're driving at 300 [km/h] and have a wheel-to-wheel fight, then brutality is part of it, I do not know if that's in the female nature," Marko said in a recent interview with Kleine Zeitung.
The comments were met with a backlash in many quarters, with an added focus on women in motorsport with the upcoming debut of the all-female W Series this weekend at Hockenheim.
Horner made attempts to explain the Austrian's comments, while putting forward his ideas for what must be done to help women into prominent race seats.
"I think they were off-the-record comments, I think they weren't… maybe they've been converted slightly," Horner said of Marko's claim.
"From a Red Bull perspective we'd be delighted to see more girls coming into the sport; we'd be delighted to see a girl get into Formula 1 and ideally be competitive.
"I think what he was alluding to is that there is nobody in a position to be competitive in Formula 1 at the moment and I think what that needs is for more girls to get involved at the grassroots, to get involved, to go karting and there needs to be a bigger pool of them coming through the sport.
"I think that way more opportunities will present themselves.
"There's obviously a Formula W category now that starts shortly but again, where will that lead on to? They need to be able to move on from there.
"I think from a Red Bull perspective, we'd be totally in favour of seeing girls in motorsport come through – but I think it needs more involvement, and to appeal more as a sport where girls can get involved at a grassroots stage."
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