Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Behind The Times, But Still Correct

Sir Stirling Moss is a former racing driver from England often called "the greatest driver never to win the World Championship". There’s good reason for that. Moss raced from 1948 to 1962, winning 212 out of 529 races. 16 of those wins came in the Formula One Grand Prix, the pinnacle of motor sports.

He drove for Lotus, Maserati, Jaguar, Ferrari and Porsche, all big names in motor sports at that time and to this day, remains a well-known, well-respected, and much loved figure in motor sports. So when this guy speaks about motor racing, he knows what he is talking about.

Recently however, Sir Moss got into trouble for saying that women should not be competing among men in motor sports because they can’t compete with men in motor sports. Basically, he was saying that women should not compete alongside men because there is no way mentally they are not going to beat men in a sport where their lives are on the line.

Sir Moss was criticized for being behind the times. Now at 82, I believe there is some truth that Sir Moss might be behind the times, but that doesn’t change one thing; the man is also right.

Although machines play a big part in motor sports, the physical and mental strength of the driver are also very important. Right now, the most famous female driver is Danica Patrick. The 31 year old is by far the most successful woman in motorsport and took pole position in this year's Daytona 500 IndyCar race. She even won an IndyCar race in 2008. 

However, before supporters use her as an example, they need to look at the big picture. Danica Patrick may do well and win a race here and there, but she is never going to win the championship. Going through a whole season, scoring wins and points throughout the season is something beyond her. I'm not knocking her ability, I'm just stating a physical and metal fact. No matter how skilled or determined she is, she is at a physical and mental disadvantage from the get-go. 

That is just a fact.

So before people start criticizing Sir Stirling Moss, they also need to look at the picture of motorsport. It is a sport and woman are at a natural disadvantage when competing against men. So in short; Sir Moss may be behind the times, but he is still correct in his assessment. Women should not be competing alongside men in motorsports.

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