Max Verstappen believes a lack of women entering motorsport at the grassroots level is hampering the chances for female drivers to break into F1.
There have only been five female drivers that have entered a race weekend throughout F1’s history, with only two starting a race – the last being Leila Lombardi in 1976.
The last female racing driver to take part in an F1 race weekend was Susie Wolff in 2015, when she drove for the Williams team during FP1 at Silverstone
Verstappen: 'It's even harder for women to enter F1
Wolff become the managing director of the F1 Academy in 2023; an all-female series that replaced the W Series following it’s collapse in 2022 to address the issue of female representation in motorsport.
But with more men entering through grassroots level compared to women, Verstappen believes that the chances of women entering the pinnacle of motorsport are less likely than before.
“I think if you look at the percentage of men and women in racing, I think already for men the percentage is very low to get into Formula 1,” he told RacingNews365.
“So naturally for women, it's even harder because there are less women.”
The three-time world champion also brushed off claims that female drivers would not be able to cope with the physicality of driving an F1 car.
"I do think physically driving F1 in some places is quite tough but I do think that it's all trainable if you work hard for it - but it is naturally a little bit harder for a woman,” he added.
"But if you have enough talent, then of course it is possible.
"I don't think team bosses are people who make decisions to choose their drivers look at it like: 'Oh, no, we only go for men’.
"If there's a woman who is beating everyone else, then naturally they will have the opportunity to get to Formula 1.
"It's just that there are fewer women in the sport and naturally, of course, the percentage to make it to the top is lower."
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