Carmen Jorda’s appointment causes controversy

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GP3 driver Carmen Jorda of Spain and Ocean Racing Technology walks in the paddock at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 11, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

The appointment of former GP3 driver Carmen Jorda to the FIA’s Women in Motorsport Commission has been met with great controversy.  Jorda has expressed opinions regarding women racing separately from men and having a women’s only racing series in the past. The Spaniard’s appointment has led to a backlash from other female drivers across motorsport.  Her appointment has been viewed as a step in the wrong direction for women in motorsport, causing many people to question the FIA’s view of women racers.

Carmen Jorda’s appointment causes controversy

Carmen Jorda’s questionable appointment

Carmen Jorda has raced three seasons in GP3.  In those three seasons, she has never finished above 25th place. Jorda was also the development driver for the Renault F1 team (formerly Lotus team) for 2 years (2015-2016). Jorda has a poor track record in racing. Jorda has frequently expressed opinions that women are not capable of racing against men.  She has stated, on several occasions, that even she is not capable of being competitive against the men.  Jorda has gone so far as to express the opinion that the FIA should have a league, similar to Formula 1, for women only.

It is these opinions, along with her lack of success on the track, that has raised questions as to how and why Jorda was appointed to sit on the FIA’s Commission. Several drivers, such as IndyCar’s Pippa Mann, have expressed their concern that Jorda’s appointment will, in fact, set women back in racing, not propel it forward.  Motor racing is one of the few sports in which men and women compete together and Jorda’s opinion that the sexes should be separated causes much dissension among male and female racers and fans alike.

Will Carmen Jorda’s appointment unite or divide women in racing?

Perhaps the largest concern regarding Carmen Jorda’s appointment is the unification or division of women within motorsports.  While the FIA maintains that Jorda’s appointment will unify women, the initial response has been one of division and frustration.  Jorda’s controversial opinions and actions have not helped the situation. This has caused several female drivers to question not just the appointment, but also the attitude of the head of the Commission, Michelle Mouton.  Mouton’s legacy in racing is unquestionable, however, this appointment has thrown her into the spotlight regarding her future place in motorsport.  Mouton declined to comment regarding the situation.

Carmen Jorda’s appointment has created a whirlwind of controversy.  Her opinion regarding men and women racing separately, as well as the need for a separate series for women, has made her appointment a questionable one.  What remains to be seen is if the appointment will prove to be something that helps build a future for women in motorsport or unravels the possibilities so carefully created by those that went before. Only time will tell. The quest to see a women driver in Formula 1 continues.

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