back to article I was once one of you, F1 star Lewis Hamilton tells delighted IT bods

Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton used to be a PFY working on mainframes before his racing career took off, he revealed today during HPE's Discover conference in Madrid. The British racing driver, who notched up yet another Grand Prix victory in Abu Dhabi last Saturday, was at the conference to talk about how HPE's tech support …

What a knob

How many women drive F1 cars, or even work in a technical/engineering manner in the pit lane?

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Re: What a knob

That was probably his point; why shouldn't there be more women in F1?

If they have the interest and can drive well enough or engineer they should have a chance.

At club level I have seen a couple of bike racers who could ride better than I can, why not F1 as well?

On a different note, having driverless F1 would be the nail in the coffin for it, its already bland enough, taking the personality out of the cockpit would be a step too far.

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Re: What a knob

I give you Helle Nice

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Re: What a knob

Claire Williams?

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Re: What a knob

I'd like to see sharks with frickin lasers on their heads driving the cars

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Re: What a knob

Well there's Claire Williams who's team principal at WIlliams, and Tatiana Calderon is a test driver for Sauber F1 off the top of my head. There are also women senior technicians and data wranglers in F1, you can sometimes see them in the back of the pits (though there are far more at the factories).

There are more women in F1 today than ever, but there's still work to do - the gender pay gap is terrible (though no worse than banking for example).

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Re: What a knob

'Well there's Claire Williams who's team principal at WIlliams, and Tatiana Calderon is a test driver for Sauber F1 off the top of my head. '

While that's true you can't deny it's still something of a sausage fest, so it's a bit unwise for anyone in F1 to being throwing gender equality rocks at other fields just yet.

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Re: What a knob

Sophia Flörsch?

She's spent loads of time in papers recently, although that was because she crashed.... Must refrain from making jokes at this point.

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Re: What a knob

You do realise that everything you see at the race is basically irrelevant if we're talking team composition?

The race crew is merely the pointy-end representing hundreds of designers, engineers, strategists back in the factory. Many of those are women - but obviously you'll never see that in the race coverage. And that's without counting the standard business-support staff - HR/Accounts/Marketing/PR/Legal/Medical/etc.

There are female drivers, but few of them have been good enough to progress from Test Driver to get a seat as a number 1/2 driver (or failed to qualify if they were entered). Susie Wolff was reserve/test driver for Williams for 5 years, Tatiana Calderon is a test driver for Sauber at the moment.

There are also plenty of girls coming through the lower formulas with mixed success. 17 year old Sophia Florsch had a fairly spectacular/horrific crash a couple of weeks ago in Macau.

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Re: What a knob

Suzy Wolf is a bad example as well if you followed her career - she was just there for PC reasons. I watched her first 3 seasons og DTM, the final one of which included a new rookie driver, Paul Di Resta. During her first season she did well and only did not move up a grade (finishing top of the 2 year old car group) because Mika Hakkinen had come in to the series, taking the only spare place in the top group (new cars), meaning there was no progression up. The next two seasons she struggled, though was not necessarily any slower, she just had better competition at her car level. 4th season Paul Di Resta took a seat in the 2 year old car group. He was considerably quicker, so much so he was beating new car drivers (2 groups higher). To say he was a quicker drive than Suzy Wolf (or Stoddard as she was back then) was an understatement. Note Paul failed in F1 as he was consistently slower in qualifying and races than his team mate Adrian Sutil, who was only a mid paced driver.

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Re: What a knob

See also: Monisha Kaltenborn (formerly the Sauber team principal).

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FAIL

Re: What a knob

Oh Dapprman please have an awareness of what you are talking about. Nobody gets into top-line motorsport for PC reasons, it is way too expensive to put somebody in a car on on a bike. They buy their way in with hard cash or they have sufficient talent to get a place on merit. And that includes test drivers.

Oh I forgot, clearly it is political correctness that gave Susie Wolff the ability to lap a Formula One car in a representative time at Hockenheim in 2014.

Jeez.

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Re: What a knob

Women 'Wanting to do it from about 5 yr old' & 'getting the years of practise from carts up over at parental expense' -> the venn diagram overlap is near zero.

The teams may well talent spot but they don't need many new test/spare drivers from year to year.

I would contend there will be better 'drivers' in the non single seat racing series (more women as well) unable to make the step up, it would be like moving from a private pilot license to passing top gun via your own wallet.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a knob

And let's not forget Monisha's spectacular exit following a few years of total and utter blunder. She almost destroyed and bankrupt Sauber. F1 is high performance, high demand, high expectation and hyper expensive sport. If you do not perform, you are out, and it doesn't matter if you are white, black, woman, man or pink with green spots. Not to say that the clock is already ticking for ClaireW, unless she pulls some magic out of the hat for the next year, however, there is a huge staff exodus at Williams F1 team right now....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a knob

"even work in a technical/engineering manner in the pit lane?"

What a knob you are, you might want to watch F1 once in a while. Several F1 teams have female pit crew, Force India, Mercedes for sure, and I think I have spotted a few more also. Then there is Clare Williams, Monisha Kaltenborn and for sure others I forget..

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Re: What a knob

Nobody gets into top-line motorsport for PC reasons, it is way too expensive to put somebody in a car on on a bike. They buy their way in with hard cash

Except in this case PC reasons equal hard cash. The first team to have a female driver will get so much exposure as a result that their advertising revenues will soar. I remember the exposure Williams got just for having a woman test drive one of their cars. Wolff was 32 at the time in Hockenheim. Very few 32 year old drivers get such an opportunity in F1. A cynic might even say she got the opportunity because she was a woman not in spite of it.

Female drivers becoming commonplace will happen, no team's going to pass over a female driver for a less good male one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a knob

"That was probably his point; why shouldn't there be more women in F1?

If they have the interest and can drive well enough or engineer they should have a chance."

The thing is that in the main they don't have the interest. That is why there is such a big difference between the numbers.

The reasons is very well established science the the distributions of boys and girls interests are different broadly expressed as girls are interested in people and boys in things. The interesting thing is that the evidence is that this difference is innate but reduced by societal influences so as society becomes wealthier and there is less restrictive gender roles the differences the differences between men and womens occupations etc become larger. Sweden for example as some of the most extreme occupational gender segregation whereas India has far far less.

Why should it matter if motor sport, engineering, physical sciences are mostly men and medicine and biology are mostly women? It is fine as long as the minority are treated fairly and women have every encouragement and special treatment to encourage them in these fields which it is not true of men in fields where women predominate. Why is it only ever seen as a problem when there is a high proportion of men in something seen as prestiguous or desireable and never when the is a preponderance of women or when the male 'domination' is in a less desireable area .

Motor sport will always be predominantely a male interest. Pretending thsi is the result of some conspiracy or discrimination gives a never ending stick to beat innocent people with.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a knob

I already find it hard to see the personality in Lewis Hamilton.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a knob

" They buy their way in with hard cash or they have sufficient talent to get a place on merit. "

Even those with talent start at a young age in go-karting and need many years of intense parental support. The ever-increasing financial burden at each new stage is beyond most families. They may find small sponsors but that soon becomes insufficient.

I helped sponsor one youngster but it was obvious none of our pockets would be deep enough for the advanced teenage stages. Fortunately by that point he felt the fun had gone out of it and preferred to exercise his cricket skills instead.

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JDX
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Re: What a knob

Quite a lot of women work in F1. If you watch it on TV you see them all the time.

Also this is a stupid comment. Lewis isn't the CEO making hiring decisions.

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Re: What a knob

Totally agree, personally I lost most of my interest in F1 after the introduction of rules to knobble Ferrari (Schumacher).

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Re: What a knob

"That was probably his point;"

Then he wasn't making it very well, because he said it to HPE employees, not Liberty Global, or whoever it is that owns F1 nowadays.

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Re: What a knob

If they have the interest and can drive well enough or engineer they should have a chance.

It is a career which starts as early as in the kindergarten with Carting. Shumi won titles as a kid in Carting long before Formula 1. For whatever reason, you are likely to see at most one girl per 20+ boy drivers in Carting at present. If not less. That is the root cause here.

Lamenting about the gender gap at career top - on the F1 grid without understanding that it is driven by a gigantic gap at the feeding point (Carting clubs) is actually the same as lamenting about a career gap at an IT junket while ignoring the fact that it is driven by the reality of too few girls starting an IT career in school.

By the way, while the "IT career gap at source" is much narrower (if any) in the East, the career gap at the Carting club there is even worse. There you will see as many ladies as men starting the IT profession while virtually zero trying to race against men on the Carting race track. In fact, the only country I can think of where sports like this is relatively gender equal (and it shows) is Germany. Everywhere else, car racing is a boy zone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a knob

Hark! A man has arrived to tell us all what women do and don't want.

And is wrong. What a surprise.

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Thumb Up

Re: What a knob

"...before the race on 2 June 1929, she indulged in a long night of champagne, morphine and sex.

She won regardless,..."

You go, girl!

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TRT
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Devil

Re: What a knob

Ah well you see F1 lacks a rear view mirror suitable for doing their make-up...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a knob

"Well there's Claire Williams who's team principal at WIlliams"

Technically, she's "Deputy Team Principal" her dad is still Team Principal, and probably more an example of nepotism than an example of how well women are doing in F1.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a knob

Sorry your education isn't as strong as your indoctrination.

We all should know why there are more men in ******* and women in ******** fields.

There will never be equal numbers in every case, doing so could only be accomplished with the

brainwashing power of femfascism. To the white knight and femis in here - If you want more wymen in STEM then stop encouraging wymen studies!

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"female models who stand around the teams, drivers and cars in a decorative – and what some feel is a sexist and objectifying – way."

If their purpose is a decorative one, then by definition they are being objectified in a sexist manner.

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Decorative, certainly. Objectifying, possibly. Sexist? Not really all that much. The women get paid for it, they enjoy it (from dozens of interviews when the announcement was made the gridgirls would be getting fired), nobody is forcing them in any way, why should we give a toss?

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re: why should we give a toss?

Don't know about you, I give a toss because it's wrong to discriminate on gender for this sort of role, or indeed for most jobs.

It's the fact they're grid girls that's sexist. Like there aren't any attractive young men that could do that job! Let's get a nice mix of attractive people, all genders and ethnicities and everyone gets to perv! That's entertainment.

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Re: re: why should we give a toss?

Let's get a nice mix of attractive people, all genders and ethnicities and everyone gets to perv!

Got a point, but once you are at that stage, then there'll be the possibility of a huge backlash against 'only beautiful people' - and you'll probably not like where that ends up.

Basically, you'll be paying to put the packets of peanuts back on the dispenser card

And no one will be giving a toss ever again....

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Re: re: why should we give a toss?

The reason for it being girls is simple economics. The viewers are by far predominantly straight males most attracted to pretty women. So putting attractive women around the car is more likely to keep get/keep them watching. Sexist, yeah probably a little bit, but that's the way it's been for all of humanity. I don't get the push to suddenly pretend we males aren't simple creatures when it comes to what we like seeing. Just having some women stand around looking attractive isn't exactly going to do much to harm egality of women.

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Re: re: why should we give a toss?

LH called out a chief exec on the number of women. So he was addressing the employer.

In F1 LH is not a chief exec or employer and not responsible for hiring.

So well done Lewis, good call.

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JDX
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We do realise that by getting rid of grid girls, we have decreased the number of women working within F1.

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375 hours between iterations of a car

If that's the time needed to run a complete redesign & build after updating the dataset - wow.

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Re: 375 hours between iterations of a car

That depends on what is meant by an iteration. No way do they do a complete redesign and build in that time. That's probably the time it takes to design, test, build and run one component or set of components.

Teams generally have (or at least used to have) a B spec car at some point in the season. The B spec is to fix any problems found in the opening races and also to copy any good ideas another team has. I wouldn't expect even Merc and Ferrari to be able to bring out a new spec car every 375 hours.

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Anonymous Coward

Alternatively...

He also took an on-stage swipe at Neri, directly asking the CEO: "There's a lot of men [in the audience], it's not very strong on the women front, why is that?"

Alternatively, just maybe women have no interest in watching men drive round in circles and so didn't bother attending?

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Re: Alternatively...

Alternatively, just maybe women have no interest in watching men drive round in circles and so didn't bother attending?

You mean maybe they had a choice and weren't told they were going to another three hour stand up meeting?

I remember as a Primary/elementary pupil. being herded into the assembly room (just the boys) to meet 'Nigel' someone or other, some footballer or other, I didn't have a clue, I wasn't a football fan.

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JDX
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Re: Alternatively...

Yeah no women who work there would be interested in a hot billionaire

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Fernan Dellonso......

Anyone At the Dell Tech Forum in London the other week see that painful Video McLaren forced Fernando Alonso to do (presumably at Gunpoint) where he prattled on about how Dell were Critical to McLaren's success?

I thought they had slowest car on the grid this season.......

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fernan Dellonso......

"I thought they had slowest car on the grid this season......."

..... but Alonso managed to get them to 6th in the constructors championship

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Mushroom

Hamilton is a twunt of the highest order

Fair play, he can drive an F1 car.

Other than that, jog on you muppet. Yeah, IT is a male dominated industry, but HR is a female dominated industry and you don't hear anyone harking on about getting more guys into HR...

All I'm saying is if you try to force it, it'll end wrong. If women want to be in IT, great, but let them find their own way. If you run all of these promotions and offer lower standards, it'll only devalue the truly skilled women in IT already.

And there will not ever be a Female World Champion F1 driver. You can call me whatever you want, but that's biology for you. One of the reasons they're looking at a female only motorsport series.

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Re: Hamilton is a twunt of the highest order

There used to be plenty of women in IT. Seems that what changed was the incredibly toxic management culture of the '90s onward, something that guys don't like either but are more prepared to tolerate. If we're looking at standards being compromised, there's your target right there.

As for Hamilton, I seem to recall he has some pretty unsavoury opinions on the matter of gender so maybe he's not the most appropriate spokesentity.

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Re: Hamilton is a twunt of the highest order

@Vometia >>> guys don't like either but are more prepared to tolerate<<<

Due to having families to support and almost zero sexism?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hamilton is a twunt of the highest order

I am not arguing that there is no toxic management but this is just another example of the gender equality paradox.

Stepping back if there is an inequality towards the number of men in one occupation there must be a corresponding inequality towards women in another. What is the explanation for the dominance of women in teaching, nursing or vets?

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Re: Hamilton is a twunt of the highest order

Yes, primary school and nursery teachers in UK is 85% female. I don't see it as a problem.

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Re: Hamilton is a twunt of the highest order

You can call me whatever you want, but that's biology for you

Yeah sure. Care to share that bone you are gnawing on, as a fellow troglodyte I would love to scratch my back.

To put it bluntly, as long as a woman is holding the all time record for wartime bombing combat sorties (WW2 to be more exact), I do not see why a woman cannot be a F1 driver. It is a significantly less demanding job than slotting incendiary 100 pounders in between Feldwebel Schultz eyeballs at point blank range.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: primary/nursery teachers in UK is 85% female. I don't see it as a problem.

I'm not sure I ever felt I needed gender-matched "role models" while growing up, but it seems to be a thing that helps many others. However, I would rather not point at the situation and say "problem", which seems to me a bit confrontational, but instead ask: "Would we get better outcomes from early education if the staffing was more representative of the pupils?"

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