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Gender equality inevitable in F1, says Red Bull chief Horner

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner. Photo: Martin Keep/AFP

Red Bull chief Christian Horner said Friday it was inevitable that gender equality would reach Formula One amid reports that a team employing an equal split between men and women was looking to enter the sport.

Former British American Racing (BAR) founder Craig Pollock told CNN last week he wanted to debut “Formula Equal” from the 2025 or 2026 season onwards.

The aim was to have a 50 percent split between males and females across the whole organisation, from the cockpit to the engineers and the boardroom.

He has reportedly submitted an expression of interest to racing’s governing body, the FIA, which opened up the process for finding a potential 11th team earlier this year.

Horner, when asked about Pollock’s plan, said he believed gender equality in the traditionally male-dominated sport would happen “naturally” anyway.

“I think it’s fantastic to see the amount of girls, females, that are showing interest in Formula One now and we’re seeing it at all levels,” the Briton said in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

“I think the interest is growing…  it’s appealing to more women to get involved in the sport, whether that’s from an engineering basis or across all aspects of the organisation.

“As the sport does become more accessible, and we are pushing to make it more accessible, I think that it is something that will naturally happen anyway.”

Pollock, formerly the manager of 1997 F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve, acknowledged funding such a venture would be hugely expensive but said he was in intense discussions with “a Gulf-area country” about bankrolling it.

Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer said gender equality was “important to everybody in Formula One”.

“So anything we can do to increase diversity in F1 I think everyone here would welcome it,” he told reporters in Melbourne. 

“But I don’t know anything other than what I briefly read about their (Formula Equal) entry.”

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