Horner digs himself out of hole after suggesting more girls watching F1 due to ‘good-looking’ drivers 

Christian Horner had to dig himself out of a hole after some slightly misguided comments on talkSPORT.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had to backpedal on a comment he made during a talkSPORT interview yesterday, after presenter Laura Woods called him out on it.

Horner suggested that more girls are starting to get into Formula 1 because of the attractiveness of the current crop of drivers.

Netflix’s Drive to Survive docuseries has garnered a significant amount of new interest in the pinnacle of motorsport, particularly in the US, as fans get unprecedented access to the drivers’ lives away from the race track, and the countless hours of work that go into a race weekend.

They first put film crews in the paddock in 2018 with eight of the 10 teams, before Mercedes and Ferrari got involved in season 2 in 2019.

Season 4 is set to be the most explosive yet due to the combustible element of the rivalry between Horner’s Red Bull team and Mercedes, as Max Verstappen and Sir Lewis Hamilton battled for title glory last year.

Verstappen refused to partake in any interviews last year due to what he perceives as over-dramatisation of the sport by Netflix, while McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo said he has loved the added demographics F1 is reaching as a result of the series.

Horner agrees with his former driver in that the series has enhanced the pinnacle of motorsport as a whole.

“I’ve watched it and the latest season is just coming out,” Horner said in his interview with Woods on talkSPORT.  

“I’ve seen a preview of the first four episodes and this latest season is just insane because of the rivalry and things behind-the-scenes.  

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“You’ve got to remember they’re making a TV show as well, but for what it’s done for the sport it’s phenomenal.”

However, he then appeared to indicate that girls are now getting into Formula 1 due to the good looks of the drivers.

“F1 is bringing in a young generation. It’s bringing in a lot of young girls because all these great-looking young drivers,” he added.

“They want to know more about the characters. Particularly in America it’s gone bananas, so that’s creating more sponsorship, more revenue, the tracks are all sold-out, Silverstone are trying to put another 20,000 seats in because of the demand.”

The W series was introduced in 2019 in an effort to get more women involved in racing, and Hamilton’s Mercedes team are trying to improve on the mere 12 percent of their employees being female as of 2020.

This is part of the Briton’s commendable efforts to improve diversity in the sport, and Woods rebuked Horner’s comments, instead putting it to him that a lot of girls will be watching because they are inspired by the drivers’ ability, not their appearance.

“I think maybe some of those young girls who are watching are not just inspired by the good-looking racers but maybe inspired to be drivers themselves?” was her riposte.

The 48-year-old then expanded on his previous statement.

“Absolutely, and we’re seeing more and more girls getting involved in the sport, not just in a driving perspective but in engineering, management and so on,” he explained.

“That’s great to see the interest that it’s generating.”

The new season of Drive to Survive drops on 11 March, and all three seasons so far remain available to watch on Netflix.