Wednesday, Mar 7 12:31pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Carmen Jordá's comments out of line says Simona de Silvestro

Nissan Motorsport’s Simona de Silvestro has slammed Carmen Jordá’s comments that women should only aspire to compete in Formula E.

In an interview following her first test in Formula E the ex-Renault Sport Formula 1 development driver said women should aim for the all-electric series.

She said women face a physical barrier to race in Formula 1, despite the likes of Silvestro having tested for the Sauber Formula 1 team previously.

“It's a less physical car than in Formula 1 because of the downforce and because of the power steering as well," Jordá told ESPN.

“The challenge that we women have in Formula 2 and Formula 1 is a physical issue and I think in Formula E, we won't have it.

“In my experience I can say Formula 1 – not all the other championships, karting, Formula 3, GT, I think women are capable of good results in all those series – in Formula 1 and Formula 2 there is a barrier that is a physical issue.

“I think there is a big issue for women and that's why there aren't any in those championships.”

Silvestro, who currently competes in the Supercars Championship, took to Twitter to express her disappointment in Jordá’s comments.

“I raced IndyCar, Formula E, Supercars and [have] driven an F1 car [sic], all were challenging but I never felt physically disadvantaged,” Silvestro said

“It's frustrating to hear the statement from a woman who has never raced these cars. This is not the way to encourage young girls to follow their dreams.”

Silvestro’s comments follow a string of responses from prominent drivers including 2009 Formula 1 title winner Jenson Button, Indianapolis 500 starter Pippa Mann

Three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winning race engineer Leena Gade also hit out at the comments. Gade and Jordá are both members on the FIA Women & Motor Sport Commission, which is led by four-time World Rally Championship even winner Michèle Mouton.

“You and I are both members of the FIA Women's Commission, designed to encourage women and girls into Motorsport, a highly competitive environment for all concerned,” Gade wrote

“Your comments today belittled the quality of the field inFormula E and it's competitive prowess.”

Jordá has attracted criticism in recent years for comments she’s made in the past about women in motorsport. Her appointment to the Women & Motor Sport Commission received criticism too for comments she made in previous about women unable to compete.


Jordá has previously contested three full seasons of GP3 befor joining the Renault Sport Formula 1 team alongside drives in the Renault Sport Trophy and Endurance Trophy. 

More information about the Women & Motor Sport Commission is available here.