As someone who has been brought up to appreciate the talent and skill of a racing driver, regardless of gender, nationality, appearance, when it comes to the Jorda / Sorensen debate I know who my money would be on.
Carmen Jorda is a very attractive young woman. And while her looks, that have not escaped the attention of the FOM cameramen and Formula One media, may have been a good promotional tool for Lotus and Formula One, her displayed talent leaves quite a bit to be desired. I have watched Carmen Jorda, with high hopes, since she entered the GP3 Series. As a female who works in motorsport and strives to be taken seriously, I have longed for a young, talented, female driver to enter the ranks of the up and comers, and give her fellow male competitors a run for their money. As is true for male racing drivers; an attractive, articulate, multi-lingual driver will always be more marketable. But why is it that a beautiful young woman can appear to make it all the way to Formula One, without actually qualifying for a Super License or any talent to speak of? Has she driven an F1 car or will she ever, or is it really just a promotional ploy being cynically exploited by the former desperate Lotus owners?
Not to mention, that all the while she is being used as a promotional tool at every Formula One Grand Prix she’s not only losing credibility but, she’s missing out on valuable racing experience that could prove or disprove her credentials.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am all for women competing at the highest level of motorsport and showing that we are as capable as the opposite sex. However, I would like that female to be there purely on proven performance and merit, competing with the likes of Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel, and not due to her looks, sex appeal, money or connections.
It could be argued that my father gave me the opportunity to make my career in motorsport, nullifying my argument. So let me be clear; I have worked long, hard hours and strived to be my own person, with my own experience, expertise and opinions in the world of motorsport. My father is a hard taskmaster, giving me further motivation to be knowledgeable and qualified in my field. Occasionally I feel that I am starting to gain respect and appreciation for the work that I do. However, a cutting, sexist, ignorant comment quickly reminds me I am working in a male dominated industry.
If there is ever meant to be a female on the starting grid of a Formula One Grand Prix, let her be there because she deserves to be, and pave the way for future generations of women to be respected and inspired, not ridiculed simply for their sex. The minute a female is allowed to start a Grand Prix for any other reason undermines everything women in motorsport fight for… Equality!
Sadly, the Carmen Jorda’s of this world, do many members of the fairer sex a great disservice.
© Samantha Collins. This article may not be copied or distributed in part or in whole without the consent of the author.
Images © Sutton Images