Women in Formula One (F1)

I’ve mentioned earlier (on more than a few occasions) my belief in the support of women as agents of change in the world.

I’ve also spoken about my years-old following of F1 racing and so it seems a good idea mash these two ideas together and so highlight some of my most recent female heroes in the uber competitive and demanding world that IS Formula One racing 2014.

(and to put it straight out there – I will NOT be talking about the pit girls or the drivers wives and girlfriends …. You can find plenty of content on those particular topics elsewhere)

1) Lets start with ‘new to me’ pundit Suzi Perry on the BBC and not so new to me BBC’r Lee Mckenzie.

I have enjoyed Lee’s pit lane reporting for a few years now and similar to ‘new to me’ Suzi Perry she does an excellent job of providing technical details as well as insight into some of the ‘thinking’ that goes on behind the scenes. Both of these women come to the field with backgrounds in autosports and both do their jobs with finesse and professionalism. You NEVER get the impression that their job has ANY sort of ‘eye-candy’ requirement. Something that I can’t say for other sports / broadcasters over here on THIS side of the pond.

I can’t say a single negative thing about how the BBC and before it ITV curate and deliver their content and it is an attestation to the skills and underlying vision of these organizations and these two women that they are woven into the production(s) in a seamless fashion. If it were not for their voices (which are quite pleasant by the way) their gender would never come to mind.

Lee McKenzie and ‘the ice man’ Kimi Raikkonen

Suzi Perry and David Coultard

You can read a nice article from Lee regarding the ‘now upon us’ 2014 season and what to expect from it here and I would encourage you to follow her on twitter as well @LeeMcKenzieF1

 

2) Second up, allow me to introduce you to  … Claire Williams:

I hesitate to start with this sentence because it seems loaded with prejudice but it is factual and may just induce you to read on … Daughter of the great Sir Frank Williams, you can read a wonderfully insightful article on Clair over at the telegraph.co.uk here.

For me, my admiration starts and ends with her role in the world class organization that is Williams F1 and the turnaround that team has enjoyed in just one year.

 

3) Next up is Suzie Wolff:

There have been women drivers in F1 before (in various roles) but I get the impression that Suzie is going to be a game changer rather than a novelty. The proof will be in the pudding as it were later this year but I have high hopes for Suzie AND for Williams F1.

To be clear she is already an accomplished driver and having her succeed in F1 would be a fantastic (continued) step in the right direction.  I’m not sure nor do I care if having Claire Williams on the team in any way influenced the decisions that lead to Suzie’s opportunity but since I am sure that somebody out there will be thinking that there IS a connection I will simply say that we shall see what we shall see – and I am hopeful of great things from Williams.

4) And finally Monisha Kaltenborn of Sauber.

with team founder Peter Sauber

Monisha has taken on the top-job (Team Principle = CEO in common speak)  at Sauber since 2010 and over that timeframe the team has been progressing nicely under her guidance. I am hopeful that in the very near future they will become a ‘team to beat’.

You can read a nice interview with Monesha over at formula1.com here.

 

One of the things that occurs to me is that for all of these women; each one skilled, influential and exceedingly successful in their own fields, it is their achievements and skills that draws me to them. Yes I provided some pictures of each one of them in this post and yes they are in fact all quite attractive. But the truth is that this was done just to draw (visually that is) some attention to these most tallented of people.

If you would like more professionally curated info on any of these women over on wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_McKenzie

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzi_Perry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susie_Wolff

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claire_Williams_(motorsport)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monisha_Kaltenborn

The 2014 season is looking VERY VERY interesting so far this year and I wish the best of luck to all of the teams and in particular all of these women. I hope that my daughters can be afforded the same opportunities for success as they have enjoyed.

Child of Light – a playable poem by Ubisoft

What a wonderfully apropos find came my way today when my youngest daughter suggested that I have a look into this as something my oldest daughter might find of interest.

Fortuitous as my oldest one just got accepted into college in a program titled “GRAPHIC DESIGN PRODUCTION – INTEGRATED ANIMATION”. Dana has dreams of being a video game designer or builder and knowing her as I do I always had a concern that there would be no room in the ‘hack and slash’ video game world for a soul such as hers.

Check out this ‘making of’ video.

And finally here is a behind the scenes article on the ubi-art framework that was utilized.

This game is scheduled to be available on April 30th on all major platforms (PS3, PS4, Xbox360, XboxONE, Wii and PC (no mention of Steam)).

Keep up the good fight Mary Willingham

I came across a great episode on the Bob Edwards broadcast on NPR just now. In this hourlong segment Bob interviews Mary with respect to her battle with UNC (University of North Carolina) over her research on academia failings of athletic students. I’ll see if I can find a link to the audio because it was an enlightening inteview but in the interim here is a description of the interview….

Bob talks to Mary Willingham, a former learning specialist who worked with athletes at the University of North Carolina, and UNC history professor Jay Smith, about the continuing controversy around the university’s big money sports programs. Willingham says that some of the football and basketball players at Carolina she tutored or evaluated were reading between a 4th grade and 8th grade level, and a that a handful were functionally illiterate. She said one of the Tar Heels’ basketball players she tutored couldn’t read at all. UNC officials demoted her. She has also received death threats from fans. Willingham and professor Jay Smith are writing a book about the scandal, and the university’s reaction.

 

Micro, Radical acts of hope :)

“The Kiva community is a hopeful corner of the internet. In some ways what we witness every day on the website is all of these micro, radical acts of hope in a very cynical world.

 

There are a lot of people who don’t believe that things can get better — that the trend lines and the headlines show that things are only going to get worse. What is so wonderful about the Kiva community is that you know you are not alone in believing that we can improve things.

A most wonderful post from the president of Kiva (Premal Shah)

Last of Us – Simply the BEST video game I’ve ever played.

By now it’s no secret that Naughty Dog’s Last of Us is a phenomenally successful video game. It sounds cliche but it truly is a game changer in the field and although it contains a fair amount of violence (I would not recommend it for the squeamish or young ) it is a work of art in so many ways!

I’m not going to even attempt to go into this in any detail except to offer up a wonderful post that I came across today. While the textual content is about sound design, which actually is what I was looking for, the accompanying 16 videos in the playlist offer some fantastic insight into the artists and the development process that went into the creation of this AMAZING game.

Simply the BEST game I have ever played.

 

Full article at killscreendaily.com

F1 – here I come !

So, after watching the sport since before I was an adult, I am finally treating myself to a trip to Formula 1 race – the pinnacle of automotive sport. In Montreal no less :)

With this in mind I’m a bit more ‘into’ it this year and so I’ve been curating a F1 collection of things I find interesting using Flipboard.

My F1 by danbrint 

If you’re like minded or even remotely curious,  I have gathered together several of the team ‘launches’ plus all of the pre-season testing play-by-play that our beloved motherland the BBC has shared with us. I will be adding as the year progresses. It’s shaping up to be a fine scrap although I worry the beginning of the season will be rife with DNFs.

 

His First Car – Leyton House March 881

I’m reading a brilliant article in F1 Racing magazine – an interview by Maurice Hamilton with F1 technical genius Adrian Newey.

The genius behind RedBull F1 racing success.

In the article Adrian’s first F1 car  (the March 881) is brought to light. One would never have guessed from the graphic below that Adrian would go on to rule the F1 world some 20 years later.

I have the utmost respect and admiration for the quiet gent with a brain the size of mars !

March 881 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia-1The fine folks at wikipedia have a great page up on Adrian that I invite you to read for yourselves… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_Newey