Carmen Jorda: Women have a ‘physical issue’ with Formula One

Updated 12:47 PM EST, Tue March 6, 2018
PHOTO: FIA
Now playing
00:55
The Gen2: Formula E's F22-inspired race car
Singer Ellie Goulding
PHOTO: Sam Bagnall/LAT
Singer Ellie Goulding
Now playing
00:53
Ellie Goulding: Formula E is cooler than F1
MARRAKECH, MOROCCO - FEBRUARY 29: In this handout from FIA Formula E, Antonio Felix da Costa (PRT), DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE20, 1st position, Maximilian Günther (DEU), BMW I Andretti Motorsports, 2nd position, and Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA), DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE20, 3rd position on February 29, 2020 in Marrakech, Morocco. (Photo by ABB FIA Formula E/Handout/Getty Images)
PHOTO: ABB FIA Formula E/Handout/Getty Images)
MARRAKECH, MOROCCO - FEBRUARY 29: In this handout from FIA Formula E, Antonio Felix da Costa (PRT), DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE20, 1st position, Maximilian Günther (DEU), BMW I Andretti Motorsports, 2nd position, and Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA), DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE20, 3rd position on February 29, 2020 in Marrakech, Morocco. (Photo by ABB FIA Formula E/Handout/Getty Images)
Now playing
22:16
Supercharged: Da Costa delights Marrakech
PHOTO: Masen
Now playing
01:25
The world's largest concentrated solar farm
PHOTO: Formula E
Now playing
01:37
Where does the lithium for batteries come from?
SANTIAGO, CHILE - JANUARY 18: Maximilian Günther of Germany for BMW i Andretti Motorsport team celebrates the victory after the E-Prix Antofagasta Minerals as part the third round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship 2019/2020 on January 18, 2020 in Santiago, Chile. (Photo by ABB FIA Formula E/Handout /Getty Images)
PHOTO: Handout/Getty Images
SANTIAGO, CHILE - JANUARY 18: Maximilian Günther of Germany for BMW i Andretti Motorsport team celebrates the victory after the E-Prix Antofagasta Minerals as part the third round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship 2019/2020 on January 18, 2020 in Santiago, Chile. (Photo by ABB FIA Formula E/Handout /Getty Images)
Now playing
22:33
Supercharged: Formula E returns in Saudi Arabia and Chile
England's pilot Nick Tandy drives his Porsche 919 Hybrid N°1 during the second qualifying practice session of the Le Mans 24 hours endurance race, on June 15, 2017 in Le Mans northwestern France. 
Sixty cars with 180 drivers will participate on June 17 and 18 June at the 85rd "Le Mans 24-hours" endurance race. 
 / AFP PHOTO / JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER        (Photo credit should read JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
England's pilot Nick Tandy drives his Porsche 919 Hybrid N°1 during the second qualifying practice session of the Le Mans 24 hours endurance race, on June 15, 2017 in Le Mans northwestern France. Sixty cars with 180 drivers will participate on June 17 and 18 June at the 85rd "Le Mans 24-hours" endurance race. / AFP PHOTO / JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER (Photo credit should read JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
03:23
'The ultimate beast, insane acceleration'
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - NOVEMBER 21: Neel Jani of Switzerland driving the (18) Porsche 99X Electric and TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team on track during practice ahead of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship - Diriyah E-Prix on November 21, 2019 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Francois Nel/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - NOVEMBER 21: Neel Jani of Switzerland driving the (18) Porsche 99X Electric and TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team on track during practice ahead of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship - Diriyah E-Prix on November 21, 2019 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Now playing
23:02
Supercharged: Formula E is back
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - NOVEMBER 23: Alexander Sims of Great Britain driving the (27) BMW iFE.20 and Team BMW i ANDRETTI MOTORSPORT on track during Round 2 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship - Diriyah E-Prix on on November 23, 2019 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Francois Nel/Getty Images
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - NOVEMBER 23: Alexander Sims of Great Britain driving the (27) BMW iFE.20 and Team BMW i ANDRETTI MOTORSPORT on track during Round 2 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship - Diriyah E-Prix on on November 23, 2019 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:55
Formula E: How does electric racing work?
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 05: Mercedes formula-e car is displayed during the first press day at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show on March 5, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo by Robert Hradil/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Robert Hradil/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 05: Mercedes formula-e car is displayed during the first press day at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show on March 5, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo by Robert Hradil/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:20
Germany's 'Big Four' compete for the first time
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:28
Cactus biofuel: Mexico's 'Green Gold'
PHOTO: DS Techeetah
Now playing
00:50
DS Techeetah's electric supercar of the future
pascal wehrlein formula e mahindra supercharged vision spt intl_00000000.jpg
pascal wehrlein formula e mahindra supercharged vision spt intl_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:25
Pascal Wehrlein makes waves in Formula E
Aerial view of the Serrania de Chiribiquete, located in the Amazonian jungle departments of Caqueta and Guaviare, Colombia, on June 7, 2018. - The 2,782,353-hectare Chiribiquete National Park, the largest of Colombia's protected natural parks, is included on the list of 30 proposals from around the world that will be examined at the forty-second session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in late June. The Serranias of Chiribiquete and La Lindosa are among the areas in Colombia that were closed to outsiders during the armed conflict and are now opening up to scientific researchers. (Photo by GUILLERMO LEGARIA / AFP)        (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO LEGARIA/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: GUILLERMO LEGARIA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Aerial view of the Serrania de Chiribiquete, located in the Amazonian jungle departments of Caqueta and Guaviare, Colombia, on June 7, 2018. - The 2,782,353-hectare Chiribiquete National Park, the largest of Colombia's protected natural parks, is included on the list of 30 proposals from around the world that will be examined at the forty-second session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in late June. The Serranias of Chiribiquete and La Lindosa are among the areas in Colombia that were closed to outsiders during the armed conflict and are now opening up to scientific researchers. (Photo by GUILLERMO LEGARIA / AFP) (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO LEGARIA/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:07
Extreme E: 'Blue Planet meets Dakar Rally'
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Felipe Massa officially launches the new SAUDIA Ad Diriyah E-Prix at the Ad Diriyah UNESCO Heritage site Saudi Arabia ahead of the Season 5 Opening race The ABB FIA Formula E Championship on September 25, 2018 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabi  (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Neville Hopwood/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Felipe Massa officially launches the new SAUDIA Ad Diriyah E-Prix at the Ad Diriyah UNESCO Heritage site Saudi Arabia ahead of the Season 5 Opening race The ABB FIA Formula E Championship on September 25, 2018 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabi (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:39
Will Formula E merge with Formula One?
PHOTO: FIA Formula E
Now playing
00:51
Formula E attack mode: All you need to know
PHOTO: ABB FIA Formula E
Now playing
01:04
Formula E car vs. the fastest animal

Story highlights

Former F1 development driver says Formula E could be better for women

Carmen Jorda's comments draw criticism from the likes of Jenson Button

Jorda sits on the FIA's Women in Motorsport Commission

(CNN) —  

Women’s participation in elite motorsport is under renewed debate after former Formula One development driver Carmen Jorda suggested female drivers struggle with the physical demands of the cars.

The Spaniard – who sits on the FIA’s Women in Motorsport Commission – suggested female drivers would find it easier in Formula E, the world’s premier all-electric racing series.

After getting behind the wheel of a Formula E car for a demonstration ahead of last weekend’s race in Mexico, Jorda was asked by reporters if the car was indeed easier to drive for women.

“I think so,” she replied.

Jorda continued: “It’s a less physical car than in Formula One because of the downforce and because of the power steering as well. So yes for sure. The challenge that we women have in Formula Two and Formula One is a physical issue and I think in Formula E, we won’t have it.

READ: Electric “HIPERCAR” is a “game changer”

“It’s not for me to decide what’s good for women or not in the sport. But in my experience I can say Formula One – not all the other championships, karting, Formula Three, GT, I think women are capable of good results in all those series – in Formula One and Formula Two 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.”

However, Jorda’s comments drew criticism from the likes of 2009 world champion Jenson Button, who argued on Twitter that she wasn’t helping “proper female drivers” with her comments and cited prominent Nascar driver Danica Patrick as an example.

READ: Abt wins in Mexico

Button’s response drew praise from British IndyCar racer Pippa Mann and Leena Gade – an engineer representative on the Commission – also voiced her disapproval of Jorda’s views.

“You are entitled to your opinions and I respect that,” she tweeted. “But do not use the name of the Commission to justify them when it contradicts the message and work we are doing. Women want to beat and be the best on equal terms. Not by the easiest route.”

Mann was disappointed that Jorda was named to the Commission in the first place, the Spaniard having backed calls for a women-only championship.

CNN has requested an interview with Jorda, we are yet to receive a response.

Italy’s Lella Lombardi was the last woman to participate in an F1 race in 1976, but could Tatiana Calderon line up on the grid sometime soon?

On Tuesday, it was announced the Colombian would be a test driver with Sauber for the coming season.

“Tatiana is a very hard-working person, who has impressed the team with her focus and dedication,” Sauber Team Principal Fred Vasseur was quoted as saying on F1’s official website.

“She has made good progress as a driver, developing both her mental and physical capacities continuously over the past few years.”