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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 May 2006, 22:05 GMT 23:05 UK
Coulthard backs women F1 drivers
David Coulthard and his girlfriend Karen Minier
Will Coulthard encourage his girlfriend Karen to take up racing?
Red Bull's David Coulthard believes there is no reason why women drivers cannot line up on the Formula One grid.

There have only been five female F1 racers, the most recent being Giovanna Amati who drove for Brabham in 1992, but Coulthard says that could change.

"I'm a great believer that ladies have an equal opportunity to race as men," Coulthard said.

"There's no reason at all why they shouldn't race with men. There's no physical or reaction reason."

Coulthard said one of the reasons there are no female competitors is that boys are encouraged to get involved at an early age.

"More men get into it, because more boys get into it," said Coulthard.

"My sister was naturally a better driver than I was."

The only woman to score F1 points is Italian Lella Lombardi, who finished sixth in Spain in 1975.

She actually only scored half a point, as the race was stopped early following a serious crash.

Fellow Italian Maria Teresa de Filippis also made her mark when she came 10th at the 1958 Belgian Grand Prix.

Irish racing driver Sarah Kavanagh, who was born in Warwickshire and is among a host of female drivers who are now trying to break into the sport, insists the sport is not sexist.

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