An investigation by the FIA, the world governing body of motor racing, has concluded that in addition to a lack of ethnic and female drivers, there are also not enough jockeys competing in Formula 1 racing.
‘We are making progress in some areas of diversity,’ said F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone. ‘Two teams now have female test drivers and we have also had racers from countries like Venezuela and India, though there are still too many Germans for my liking. But what is clear to see is that none of our current pool of drivers has ever competed in the 2:35 at Kempton Park.’
The apparent discrimination continues to puzzle observers of motor racing who believe that jockeys would be ideal candidates for driving an F1 car as they are small and light, plus they have a good understanding of horsepower.
Efforts at greater integration of the two sports were stepped up during a recent test session in Barcelona where Frankie Dettori completed 15 laps in a Toro Rosso, while Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were asked to ride over the weekend at Aintree. Dettori produced some very quick lap times, making full use of the car’s kinetic energy recovery system, its drag reduction system and, on the back straight, his whip. Hamilton finished last in his race, putting the defeat down to a slow shoe change in the pits, while Rosberg retired with a broken suspension after jumping Becher’s Brook.
However, there was also a sad reminder that both sports can be extremely dangerous for competitors when, during the Barcelona test session, Michael Schumacher span off into the gravel trap and, after a short delay, was shot at the trackside by a vet.