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Formula One is the top competitive class of motorsport racing in the world. While there are female test and development drivers in F1, the last time a woman actually competed in an F1 grand prix was 1976. Carmen Jorda, a former female development driver in F1 recently commented that F1 might be too physical for women — an opinion that was panned on social media by male and female professional drivers alike.
Last Tuesday, Sauber announced 24-year-old Tatiana Calderon as its newest F1 test driver. The Colombian says that in the past, she has had to crash to claim her track position and earn the respect of male drivers. And on International Women’s Day, the International Automobile Foundation (FIA) announced it would launch a new karting program for girls 13-18 called the “Girls On Trak Karting Challenge.” This follows the FIA’s 2018 decision to replace Grid Girls — promotional models who stand with the drivers on the grid — with Grid Kids of both genders.