When I was a little girl, I idolized Shirley Muldowney, Sarah Fisher, and Ashley Force-Hood. Heck, even Danica Patrick when she entered IndyCar. These women inspired me. Because of them, I had dreams of becoming a race car driver when I grew up. These women competed in the male dominated sport of motor racing, changing the sport as they advocated equality.
Carmen Jordá? She doesn’t inspire me. Honestly, I don’t find her to be anything more than just a pretty face. She doesn’t even believe in equality in the sport. Yet, the FIA recently appointed Jordá to the Women in Motorsport Commission. Mind you, the commission’s president is rally racing great Michèle Mouton. The commission also includes Leena Gade as an ambassador for engineering.
The Women in Motorsport Commission works to create opportunities for, well, women in motorsport and to show that women can be involved in all aspects of the sport, whether it be as competitors, mechanics, officials, or managers. It’s a group that promotes equality.
Jordá, on the other hand, believes that there should be a female-only variant for Formula 1, and she has brought this up a few times in the past. She believes that women cannot compete well enough against men and that they have a natural disadvantage. In her own words: “I believe a women’s F1 championship would give us the chance to achieve our dreams and compete on an equal footing—as in other sports. One day it will happen, and it is the right thing to do. They think because we are driving a car we are on the same level as men which is completely not true because we will never be the same as them. I have had to fight through many things to get to the top of this sport, just because I am a woman, and that is not fair.”
But Miss Jordá is not exactly at the top of the sport. She’s a development driver for Renault’s F1 team. A ton of people hadn’t even heard of her until this past weekend when the news of her appointment emerged, specifically after Pippa Mann voiced her disappointment on Twitter.
If the news I am hearing is correct, and you have appointed a racer with no notable results, who does not believe we compete as equals in this sport, to represent women in racing, I am incredibly disappointed.
Sincerely -an #Indy500 qualifier, #IndyLights race winner.
— Pippa Mann (@PippaMann) December 8, 2017
Sure, Jordá had three podium finishes in the 2007 Spanish Formula 3 Championship and two podiums in the 2009 European F3 Open Championship, but that’s really about it for her career. She failed to finish any higher than 13th during her three years in GP3 and didn’t finish higher than 10th during her few races in Indy Lights in 2010. During that same Indy Lights season, however, Mann managed to finish fifth in the championship with two podiums (one a win) and three poles.
Women can compete in racing just as well, or better, than the guys. Way back when, Maria Teresa de Filippis started on the grid for the 1958 Belgian Grand Prix—one of only two females to ever qualify on the starting grid of an F1 race. Michèle Mouton was very successful in her rallying days and became the first woman to win a round of the FIA World Rally Championship and won four World Championship rallies during the 1980s. Shirley Muldowney, the first woman to receive an NHRA license for the Top Fuel class, won three Top Fuel Dragster championships. Christina Nielsen won the 2016 and 2017 IMSA GTD class championships and finished second in the championship in 2015.
Then there are those like Susie Wolff, who made a name for herself in DTM with Mercedes-Benz and even was involved in the 2014 F1 British Grand Prix race weekend, the first time in 22 years that a woman got to drive during a competitive session in the series. Wolff and the U.K.’s Motor Sports Association founded the Dare to Be Different, an organization that helps inspire, feature, and connect women who currently work in or desire to be a part of the motor racing world.
Oh yeah, but women can’t successfully compete in motorsport. Because they are women and need their own gender-specific series in order to be competitive, right, Jordá?
Carmen Jordá is the complete antithesis of what the Women in Motorsport Commission is about. Her beliefs are not influential to women who are aspiring to become a part of the motorsport world. The FIA should have appointed someone who supports the mission of the commission, not one who is against it.
I hope that the little girls of today know that they can be successful in whatever they choose to do and that they can race against the boys and beat them.