Rebecca Bernard
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Are Formula 1 Cars Too Complicated For Women?

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Rosemary Smith RenaultI realize that I write about sexism a lot here at The News Wheel. The prejudice I experience in my field of work is much lower than what some other women face, but the constant stream of comments aimed at females in the auto industry tends to wear us all down until we just snap and have to do something about it. I write articles about it, but rally driver Rosemary Smith decided to silence the haters by sliding behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car to prove that women can drive these well-engineered machines.


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At 79, Rosemary Smith is the oldest person (not just woman) to get behind the wheel of an 800 BHP race car. She visited a speedway with Team Renault to learn more about the cars and race the track. The controls in a Formula 1 car are different than in a standard car, so Smith had to sit through a course with Renault driver Jolyon Palmer and the team to learn how to operate the paddles on its steering wheel.  She was very nervous about driving because of all the new information, but she decided this was something she had to do. Decision made, Rosemary got strapped in the car and pealed out of pit road.


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Guess what? Rosemary Smith showed those boys what women are really made of. She tore around the track and came back to the garage to a round of applause from all of the Renault team members gathered to watch the legend drive. If this is what a former rally car driver can do, I can just imagine what would happen if we gave women a chance to train and race in the championship.

  • Rebecca BernardEditor

    A Dayton native, Rebecca got her start blogging at the curiously named Harlac's Tongue while studying abroad in the UK. She loves tooling around town with her Ford Focus named Jerome to the song they're playing on the radio. On any given weekend, you can find her with her camera at area festivals, concerts, and car shows, shopping at flea markets, or taking an adventure on the open road. See more articles by Rebecca.