David Coulthard believes that the increase in support in the motorsport feeder series will soon result in a female racing driver reaching Formula 1.
The last female racing driver to officially compete in a Formula 1 race weekend was Giovanna Amati, who attempted to qualify for the 1992 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Lella Lombardi was the last woman to compete in a Grand Prix, and scored half-a-point in the red-flagged Spanish Grand Prix of 1975.
In more recent seasons, Susie Wolff was handed test outings for the Williams team in 2014 and 2015, whilst development driver roles have been filled by the likes of Tatiana Calderon and Jamie Chadwick.
The desire to improve the chances of finding the next female Formula 1 driver has prompted the introduction of the W Series, with all three seasons won by Chadwick, and F1 Academy series, introduced for 2023.
Viewed by others:
Speaking at an event for watch brand IWC, thirteen-time Grand Prix winner Coulthard, who has worked in series aimed at promoting women in motorsport, believes that female racing drivers having a support level similar to F1's current superstars will soon bring the next female Formula 1 driver.
"I've always been very supportive of women in motorsport. I was involved with the W Series in the memory of my sister, also a part of a program called '>= More than Equal', which is supporting young girls in karting," said Coulthard.
"It is just a question of time, and it's going to be about having more young girls coming into karting, and it's about giving them the same support that Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have had to really enable them to realise their talent.
"In the next decade, I believe we'll see a woman in Formula 1."