Top Gear’s Stig, television’s most famous incognito racing driver, could be a woman.

Speculation ensued over the identity of Top Gear’s helmeted driver after he or she debuted in the BBC2 show’s new series last night.

Top Gear fans reckon Stig, who cuts a tiny figure behind the wheel, may be a woman because of his or her slight physique.

Top Gear’s new Stig was hired in utmost secrecy with even show host Jeremy Clarkson claiming that he doesn’t know who it is – regardless of gender.

The helmeted one is rumoured to be German racing driver Sabine Schmitz.

The married petrolhead is a former BMW racing driver and TV presenter and has previously featured on the Top Gear under her own name.

On last night’s show, Clarkson, 50, did let slip that the new Stig is so tiny that he or she makes 5ft 7in co-host Richard Hammond, 41, look tall.

He said: “The Stig comes up to my legs and makes Richard Hammond look like a giant. All the good racing drivers these days are very small.”

However, it has been noted that when Schmitz previously appeared on Top Gear, its stars joked that she was taller than Hammond.

Stephen, from Chester joked on an online forum: “We will not find out whether the Stig is a woman until we see him/her reverse into a parking space.”

Whomever it may, Stig is fast.

He or she set a new circuit lap record of one minute 15.1 seconds in an Ariel Atom V8 to get the series off to a rip-roaring start.

Top Gear replaced Stig after the previous one, Ben Collins, 35, decided to unveil his identity and publish a book about his time on the show.

The BBC spent £76,000 on a failed court attempt to stop his autobiography from being published.

In last night’s episode of Top Gear, comedian John Bishop was the Star In The Reasonably Priced Car.

He ended up at the top of the leader board with a 1.42.8 circuit time.

Also in the programme, Hammond attempted to beat a VW Beetle being dropped from a helicopter to its landing spot from the same distance along the ground.

The ground was a South African salt flat, which slowed Hammonds’ progress and lost him the race. The Beetle, however, was smashed to pieces.
 
In another Top Gear stunt, a helicopter tried and land on the roof of Clarkson’s car.