Lotus has done exactly what many would have expected of a racing team with accident-prone driver Pastor Maldonado on its books and appointed a poorly-qualified driver to its Formula One team for what would amount to nothing more than some cheap publicity.
Carmen Jorda, who finished 29th out of 36 drivers in the GP3 racing series in 2014, has been appointed the Lotus F1 Team’s development driver for the 2015 season just in time for the Melbourne Grand Prix mid-March.
Jorda, 26, hasn’t had what you’d describe as a stellar racing career. With 44 starts in GP3 since 2012 Jorda has managed zero wins, zero points, zero pole positions and zero fastest laps. Her best result was 28th in 2012.
That would mean there are currently more than 20 drivers in the equal-car GP3 championship that technically out-qualify her for a position in motorsports most coveted racing series.
To be fair, she scored two podiums in the 2009 European F3 open championship and 3 podiums in the Spanish Formula Three in 2007. To date, she has never won a race or set a fastest lap in any series she has competed in.
The current crop of Female Formula One drivers is best represented by Williams test driver Susie Wolff, who just happens to be married to Toto Wolff, executive director of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and a shareholder in the Williams team.
Wolff has managed four podiums in her entire racing career (all in Formula Renault UK).
Previously the ailing Marussia team used María de Villota as a test driver until her crash in 2012 and related death the following year.
The most successful female Formula One driver remains Italy’s Lella Lombardi, who competed in 12 races and scored 0.5 points at the Spanish grand prix in 1975.
Nonetheless, with Formula One audience numbers on a gradual decline, the sport has resorted to new ways of capturing a larger audience, appointing drivers based on looks rather than talent.
Is this what Formula One needs to make it more exciting?