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Horner - No barriers to female F1 success

Horner - No barriers to female F1 success

F1 News

Horner - No barriers to female F1 success

Horner - No barriers to female F1 success

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has insisted there are no barriers to young female talent from competing alongside male drivers in top-level motorsport.

Horner has also vowed Red Bull will back emerging female talent in the future through its junior programme.

No woman has competed at an F1 event since Giovanna Amati entered three races for Brabham in 1992, whilst Lella Lombardi - the only female driver to score in F1 - was the last to drive in a race in 1976.

More recently, Susie Wolff took part in FP1 for Williams at the 2014 British Grand Prix and whilst teams have provided more opportunity since then, it has been down to simulator and development driver roles, such as Jamie Chadwick at Williams and Jessica Hawkins at Aston Martin.

The W Series kicked back into action during the Miami Grand Prix weekend, with two-time reigning champion Chadwick winning both races.

Asked about the impact the championship was having, Horner said: "I think the W series is a great initiative, it's still very young, it's evolving, it's growing and hopefully, it's going to attract more and more girls into racing.

"What really needs to happen is more girls coming into the grassroots of racing. And I think as we see things like the Netflix effect that it’s had on the sport, we're seeing the demographics of the followers of Formula 1 changing, and a lot more young females becoming aware and interested in Formula 1, which will hopefully encourage them to, to get involved.

"If that's through driving, you know, obviously, karting is, is the entry point to motorsport and I think that, of course, there's always going to be that debate, you know, should the girls, you know, race with the boys, should it be like other sports where you have to separate competitions.

"I think there shouldn't, and there aren’t barriers, and if the talent is strong enough, it will permeate its way into Formula 1, because, you know, we're all very selfish individuals that we want the best drivers, regardless of background, gender, etcetera."

"I think that if the W series can help to develop young talent that finds its way across into Formula 3, or Formula 2 and ultimately Formula 1, then that's certainly a positive thing."

Red Bull to 'identify' talent to support

Red Bull has backed emerging female talent as part of its illustrious junior programme in the past, including in 2013 when assisting WEC and W Series driver Beitske Visser.

"As far as Red Bull’s involvement, you know, we've sponsored girls and backed girls in the past and will do so again in the future," explained Horner.

"It's just a matter of identifying, you know, through our scouting systems the talent that we want to support."

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