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.
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.
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:
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.