FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has issued a statement reiterating his and the governing body's commitment to increasing female involvement in motorsport.
It comes after F1 boss Stefano Domenicali discussed the sport's tie-up with the W Series and the chances of a female driver making it to the top echelon in the coming years.
"We believe that it is crucial in this moment to try to give the maximum possibility to women to come to Formula 1, and this is something that we are totally dedicated [to]," Domenicali told media, including RacingNews365.com, earlier this week.
He then expressed a need for the "right parameters", adding that "realistically speaking, I don't see – unless something that would be like a sort of meteorite coming into the earth – a girl in Formula 1 in the next five years".
With the comments sparking reaction in the paddock and online, retiring F1 driver Sebastian Vettel described it as "a very unlucky choice of words".
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Ben Sulayem and the FIA working hard to increase female involvement
Ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, Ben Sulayem made it clear that the FIA are "actively encouraging" female involvement in motorsport.
"Since its foundation, the FIA has always supported and nurtured women in motorsport," said Ben Sulayem.
"Motorsport is unique as under FIA regulations, women and men can compete on equal terms.
"We will continue to actively encourage the participation of women, whether that be through our FIA Girls On Track Rising Stars programme, the presence of women in our Race Control, Operations and Technical teams and other departments throughout the organisation or in partnership with our ASNs with female volunteers and officials.
"The FIA and FOM are committed to greater opportunity for women in the sport. Stefano Domenicali and I are working together to improve access and the pyramid for women's entry and progression.
"Throughout history, women have made their mark in motorsport, on and off track, and it is our desire, under my leadership, that the trend will continue for years to come."
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