Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has come out in defence of Lotus development driver Carmen Jorda, saying the Spaniard “has done a good job” for the Enstone-based team.
Jorda has come under fire for her position at Lotus given her lack of results in the lower categories, with FIA Women in Motorsport commission head Michele Mouton in particular dismissing her credentials for the role.
In response, the 27-year-old said she was “surprised” by Mouton’s comments, suggesting the former WRC winner should gain a better understanding of her programme before criticising.
Now Ecclestone, who has long been eager to see a female driver land a full-time F1 seat, has come out in Jorda’s defence, praising her in particular for being “prepared to give up what it takes.”
Asked by Motorsport.com whether he felt Jorda was getting a hard time, Ecclestone said: “She is very good. We asked Lotus to see and she has done a good job for them.
“She wants to be in F1. We have to try to find the right way, but she is not alone. There are plenty of other people.
“I saw the American girl, Danica [Patrick, currently racing in NASCAR], and I said we would be able to do something for [IndyCar driver Simona] de Silvestro, but they don't want to come to Europe; they want to stay in America.
“So you have to get the person who has enough talent and wants to do it, and is prepared to give up what it takes.”
Not enough females racing
Ecclestone added that he hopes to unearth more female talent in the future, arguing that a lack of other women racing at a comparable level makes criticism of Jorda unfair.
“I would like to push hard, not just for Carmen but for other people that are probably out there,” said the 84-year-old.
“You have Miss World. It doesn't mean she is the best looking girl in the world. It means she is the best one who has been in the competition.
“She might not be the best, but she is in the competition. So we need to find out [who else is out there].”