Birds eye view of a track starting line up
Racing driver stood looking down
Racing driver stood looking down

The role and impact of sponsorship

The important role played by sponsorship and investment in helping talented female drivers progress up the motorsport ladder was evident when speaking to those who are currently attempting to do so.

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While there is recognition that motorsport is an expensive sport for everyone, many believe that it is much harder for women to access the funding they need, feeling that sponsors would rather play it safe with men or boys.

“It’s getting more expensive to find the sponsors to support you to go racing and give you a real chance to compete with a good team is really difficult. As long as women’s motorsport series sit separately from men, it’s not going to be taken as seriously.”

A leading female driver

“When we speak to sponsors and say that our daughter has the potential of reaching F1, we get the same answer: ‘we don’t believe you.’ There is no single evidence over the last 30 years or more that a female racer is able to reach and race F1 so they will not take a risk.”

Parent of an aspiring female driver

A huge opportunity for brands who do invest

The survey also documents the recognition and value attributed to brands and companies that are willing to invest in sportswomen, though there are stark contrasts along gender lines.

Opinion of sponsorship


I think more highly of companies that support women in sport


Sponsorship can make a positive contribution to the success of women in elite sport


I am more likely to consider purchasing products from companies involved in supporting women in sport

There is recognition that as more progress is made, more sponsors will be interested.

“In Equestrian, the Top 20 is a competition between men and women; there is a parallel with motorsport in that it’s not just your strength, it is the strength of your ability, your technique and the strength of your partner, whether that is a horse or a car. There are similarities between the two and hence the interest to explore and to support the development of female drivers.”

Leading director from an existing sponsor brand in motorsport

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Female-filled crowd celebrating
Female-filled crowd celebrating

Global participation of women and girls

Analysing the numbers relating to female participation and performance in global motorsport has proved a significant challenge.

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