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Inspiring Ladies in Formula 1



It’s not often women are related to F1 in the pitlane or at the paddock. Since the very beginning, there had been only handful of female drivers able to breakthrough into Formula One, of which, only a few qualified to start a race. For any aspiring female driver, Lella Lombardi could be a source of inspiration and a testament to what women can achieve when they can put the cars through its paces.

She earned to drive on Sundays twelve times out of seventeen entries and picked up half a point while finishing sixth at the Spanish GP of 1975 – due to a shortened race distance she was awarded with half of the actual points. Many of them were gifted with a development role in the last decade Britain’s Katherine Legge drove a Minardi at Vallelunga circuit in 2005 and American Sarah Fisher in a McLaren at the 2002 US Grand Prix as part of a demo run but none quite found their way into race days.

For this season, Maria de Villota having tested with Renault last season at Paul Ricard, signed with Marussia and DTM driver Susie Wolff with Williams team as part of development drivers. Maria had less experience in racing, compared to the Scot, Wolff. Horror struck the road in a crash at Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire when Maria crashed into back of a standing truck and lost her right eye with fractures on skull and pulled the brakes off to her driving career as a whole.

She attended press with a blue patch on her right eye for the first time since that near fatal crash and she was quoted saying as,

“I have motorsport in my DNA and there’s no way I can stay away from that world,” she said.

“I want to keep fighting because I believe so strongly in women being part of motor racing.”

Those words showed how strong a women she was and with much respect I wish to see her part of F1 soon.

The former Formula Renault and F3 driver, Susie Wolff, has been competing in DTM since 2006 but tasted her first sip of F1 only this past Wednesday with a Williams FW 33 at the Williams F1 Partner event. On the Silverstone circuit, she clocked hundred km with wet and damp runs and expressed her first emotions behind the F1 wheel as ‘incredible’. She said,

“It was incredible. I’ve waited a long time for this day, I’ve dreamed about this day for a long time, with the first lap something special.

“I’ve done a lot of days in the simulator so I knew what to expect but of course it is tremendously different when you are out there and going at those speeds.”

The simulator driver awaited this chance for a long time and revealed her conversation with Villota of late. Susie also disclosed that she raced for both of them and praised her as an inspiration.

“She is an incredible lady,” Before you even talk about her as a racing driver, she is an incredible person, an inspiration.“We were in contact a couple of weeks ago and she told me to drive for the both of us now, that I would be out there representing us both.“I had Maria’s star on my helmet, it’s with pride I have that, and without a doubt I was driving for the two of us.”

Also, a new team principal overtook Peter Sauber. Indian-born Monisha Kaltenborn became F1′s first female team principal after taking the helm at Sauber. The Swiss-based team said in a statement at the Korean Grand Prix that 41-year-old Kaltenborn, who was previously chief executive, would take over Sauber’s duties at race weekends. she is an Austrian citizen and the second Indian-born principal after Force India’s Vijay Mallya.

Joined at Sauber in 2000, she overtook as CEO a couple of seasons back. Sauber transferred a third of the company shares to her last year. All these highly devoted women signifies that it doesn’t matter who you are if the desire to be on the big stage is driven to the maximum.

By Surendhar

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