Michele Mouton, the four-time World Rally winner who now runs the FIA’s Women in Motorsport Commission, says she is “not interested” in Carmen Jorda’s position as development driver for the Lotus F1 Team.
As a works driver for Audi, Mouton became the first woman to win a round of the FIA World Rally Championship, and clinched second place in the 1982 drivers’ standings behind the legendary Walter Rohrl.
Jorda, 27, hopes to test Lotus’s F1 car at some point this year. She has come in for criticism over her promotion to a role with an F1 team, however, after failing to score a point in any of her 44 starts in the GP3 Series over three seasons.
When asked what she thinks about Jorda’s role at Lotus, Mouton replied: “If I would suggest names of female drivers who have what it takes to make it to F1, I’d say Simona de Silvestro, Danica Patrick [who makes her 100th career NASCAR Sprint Cup start today], Susie Wolff or even Beitske Visser, who is performing well in the Formula Renault 3.5 series.
“These girls have scored very good results in their career. Other less successful girls have managed to climb the motorsport ladder, but that has more to do with marketing strategies and political reasons, and I am not interested in that.”
Getting more women involved is key
Mouton believes that there are “simply not enough women involved in motorsport”, but points to the likes of Tatiana Calderon in European Formula 3, Lucile Cypriano in the SEAT Eurocup and Marta Garcia in karting as strong hopes for the future.
“The most important thing is to make sure that girls have access to the same equipment as the boys,” she added. “When I raced, I had the same equipment as my male rivals. With equal equipment, it’s really easy to see if you’re good or if you’re not.
“Our goal is to make sure that the girls have comparable equipment. Things are moving forwards, and we start seeing some results. But we continue to work hard with the help of the national federations.
“It’s a huge task, but we start seeing the results.”