Formula 1 is positioned as the greatest spectacle in motorsport racing. While it certainly has the most money invested in it, many are now wondering if it is just a spectacle and lacks the competitive element that many people demand from their moto racing. The reality is that the team that spends the most usually dominates and often it is the superior car that wins not the superior racer. There is another glaring issue with Formula-1, they are all male drivers. In a world where driving has been male-dominated since it began that should come as no surprise, however, in the modern world women are starting to have a huge impact in racing and are proving that they can compete every bit as well as the men. Here are some of the fastest women behind the wheel.
Jessica Barton is famous in America as a drag racer. She manages to perform in the male-dominated world while also being a part-time model. In her Toyota Supra, she reached a top speed of 273 km/hour in 2011. Sadly her Supra was later stolen. Jessica has also tried her hand at acting performing in two movies to date “Zombies, Zombies, Zombies” and “The Fiesta Grand”.
Sarah Fisher is a well-known name in NASCAR. She competed in the IndyCar series from 1999 for eleven years but started racing in NASCAR in 2005. She was the first woman to finish first in the Indi 500 and has raced it nine times in total, the most of any woman. Fisher has been tearing away at male stereotypes since she began her racing career and is a clear sign of things to come for women in the sport.
Carmen Jorda is another driver that is making a lot of headlines. She started her career as a go-kart driver but has continued to go from success to success, making it to the Spanish Formula 3, then the European Formula 3 before becoming a development driver in Formula 1 for both Lotus and Renault. This move made her just the 11th woman to be part of a Formula 1 driver line up.
Jamie Chadwick is only 22 years old and already setting the driving world alight. She too has been named as a development driver in Formula 1 as a driver for Williams. In 2019 she won the inaugural W series championship. She is most famous though for being the first female and youngest winner of the British GT championship. She is a clear example of someone that is not only breaking through the glass ceiling of the expectations of women in motorsport, but she is also breaking records regardless of gender.
Chadwick’s success may be coming at the perfect time. Today there is a renewed appetite for women in sport. The female football world cup was a fine example of how audiences are now more open to watching women in sport and tennis has always been a great example. When Chadwick won the Women’s series she won a prize of $500,000 incredibly high for an all-female event but a fair reflection of how audiences are starting to take an interest in the sport.
In the past some male experts have said that women aren’t suitable for high octane racing because of the demands it places on the physical body but women like Chadwick are showing this is not true. While the demands on the body are a challenge she is proving more than capable of not only coping but of triumphing. Whether Chadwick makes it to a starting grid position in Formula 1 is at present an unknown, what is clear though is that a day when a woman is on the grid is coming and the sport will be better for it.