Why the Iron Lady could have been a racing driver

Digging into the Top Gear archives, you might stumble on a particularly peculiar piece, given its home. It’s one claiming that, actually, women might make rather good racing drivers and especially notable as it was penned by none other than Jeremy Clarkson, who delights in practicing, as far as he is able, political incorrectness of the highest form. It’s worth a read, and then reframing the question thus: could women make successful Formula E racing drivers? And if so – who?

There are men who drive like they have Tourette’s of the epilepsy and women who drive like Gods. And vice versa. So again, I ask the question: “Why is Formula One more male than the lavatories at a Turkish steam room?”

We know that there are women who can drive. We know too that many are interested in cars. And that millions watch Formula One motor racing, not simply because they quite fancy Mark Webber. Do the cars require a physical strength that (most) women simply don’t have?

I very much doubt it. Let’s be honest shall we, it’s not a rugby scrum in there is it? Yes it can be a bit hot and you need to have big neck muscles to cope with the cornering, but in essence you sit down, and turn the steering wheel which is power-assisted. How hard can it be?

Perhaps the problem then is that women don’t have the hunter killer instinct that makes them want to pass the guy in front more desperately than they want their next breath. But do the guys? Well, judging by the pitiful overtaking display put on every other weekend, I’d suggest they have about as much desire to win as your average koala.

Whereas we only need look at Baroness Thatcher to know what women can be like when they want to get in front. Maybe that’s the answer. The Maggon. She’s small. She’s got the killer instinct. She could be just what the sport needs.


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