Belgian Grand Prix: Sebastian Vettel questions F1 boss Stefano Domenicali for comments

Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel hosted a women-only karting race in Saudi Arabia last year during F1's first visit to the country

Sebastian Vettel says Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali used a "very unlucky choice of words" when he said it was "very unlikely" a woman will be on the grid within five years.

Italian Domenicali used the phrase "realistically speaking, unless there is something like a meteorite," when discussing the issue.

Aston Martin driver Vettel said: "It was a very unlucky choice of words.

"I don't see a reason why we can't have a woman on the grid."

Domenicali was not saying he believed a woman could never race in F1, rather that there were barriers to female drivers at the moment.

He said it was "crucial to give the maximum possibility for women to come to F1 - we are totally dedicated to that", adding: "We are working on that to see what we can do to improve the system. And you will see soon some action."

But Vettel, a four-time world champion who is retiring at the end of this season, said Domenicali's comments sent out the wrong message for females trying to make it to the top of motorsport.

"It's statements like that which I guess women or girls are probably confronted with when they are growing up and sharing their dreams, sitting at breakfast saying I want to become a racing driver," German Vettel said.

"And the father might just have read exactly statements like that and say: 'You do like other things, why not focus on other things?'

"Maybe they do focus on other things and drop racing or the idea.

"It is important we don't say these things because there are sparks everywhere.

"I encourage every girl to speak up and prove Stefano in this regard wrong, and all these people wrong who say certain things can't be done by you because you are a girl or woman.

"This type of stereotypical thinking is slowly disappearing but has to disappear completely."

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