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Inspiring the Next Generation: Celebrating Women's Achievements in Motorsports Racing for Women's History Month 2023

Inspiring the Next Generation: Celebrating Women's Achievements in Motorsports Racing for Women's History Month 2023

There’s a growing movement to get more women into motorsport and I am totally here for it!  As a kids book author and parent, I firmly believe that you can’t be what you can’t see. So I love to see more female representation in motorsport because that is how we will change the sport for the better.

As a father to a son and a daughter, it's important to me that both of them have equal opportunities to pursue their passions. 

So that’s why I wanted to pay tribute, in my own small way,  to all the women in motorsport who serve as inspiration to us adults and to the kids.  They show all children out there that if you dream of a career in the exciting world or racing you can achieve it.  And if there isn’t a current path available, they are proving that you can create your own. 

I want to preface this list by acknowledging that I am not a journalist or historian, and my knowledge on this topic is not comprehensive. However, I am passionate about learning and educating myself about the impressive women who have made strides in motorsports, and I am excited to share some of the pioneers, presenters, drivers, engineers, and standout women who have caught my attention along the way.

Despite the numerous obstacles that women have faced in this male-dominated industry, these are just some of the trailblazers have shattered the glass ceiling and proved that anything is possible. They have paved the way for future generations of female racers, mechanics, engineers, and enthusiasts, and their impact on the motorsports world is immeasurable.

The Pioneers 

Paving the way as women in motorsport is not easy, but these women are perfect examples that it can be done, and done successfully. 

  • Lella Lombardi -  In 1975, Lella Lombardi became the first and only female driver to earn points in a grand prix.
  • Michele Mouton -  Michele was the first woman to win a round of the World Rally Championship (WRC), in 1981. 
  • Danica Patrick -  Danica was the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500, finishing in fourth place, the highest ever finish by a female driver in the race. She went on to compete in IndyCar full-time, winning one race in 2008 and finishing in the top ten in the championship standings six times.
  • Claire Williams - Claire was the first female Deputy Team Principal of an F1 team for Williams in 2013. 
  • Simona de Silvestro - Simona was the 2010 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year and has raced in 5 different Indy 500’s among many other racing feats. 
  • Susie Wolf - A former driver, Susie was one of the few women to participate in a Grand Prix weekend test driving for Williams. She is the former Formula E team principal and CEO of Venturi Racing and now the managing director of the F1 Academy, a new single-seater racing championship called the F1 Academy, which exclusively features female drivers. 

  • The Presenters and Journalists 

    We love tuning into these female presenters and reading these journalists' perspectives every race weekend.

  • Elizabeth Blackstock  - Elizabeth does it all - she's senior editor at Jalopnik, the Donut Racing Show podcaster, and co-author of Racing with Rich Energy book. 
  • Alanis King - Alanis is a car and motorsport journalist that has worked with Business Insider, Road & Track, Top Gear and more, and co-author of Racing with Rich Energy book. 
  • Lily Herman is the journalist behind F1 culture newsletter Engine Failure and host of the “Choosing Sides” podcast.
  • Natalie Pinkham- Natalie is a presenter and Formula One pit lane reporter for Sky Sports F1. 
  • Laura C Winter - Laura is a sports broadcaster and presenter for Formula 1 and Extreme E. 
  • Arianna Bravo - Arianna is the presenter of F1 and hosts her own podcast for Autosport.
  • Lissie Mckintosh - Lissie is a Formula One TikTok creator and presenter. 
  • Naomi Schiff - Naomi is a former racing driver and now an F1 TV presenter.

  • The Drivers of Today 

    These women are creating a name for themselves ON the track, and we’re here for every exciting moment.

      • The Iron Dames: Michelle Gatting, 29, Sarah Bovy, 33, and Doriane Pin, 19 make up the all-female line-up that claimed victory in a round of the European Le Mans Series, making them the first female team to achieve this feat. This win also secured third place for the team in the final championship standings, earning them a coveted invitation to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans Centenary event. 
      • Tatiana “Tata” Calderon - Tata is a racing trailblazer and great ambassador for young girls everywhere, particularly from Latin America.  She started her racing career in karting, then moved up to single-seater racing back in 2009. From there, she took on GP3 from 2016 to 2017, and in 2018, she leveled up to Formula 2.  She is actually the subject of a new book titled "La niña más veloz que el viento" or in English, the Girl Who Was Faster Than The Wind. which was written by friends of mine.  I’ve ordered the book myself and can’t wait to read it with my kids.
      • Jamie Chadwick: Jamie, a British racing driver, has participated in a range of motorsport events, such as Formula 3, Formula E, and the W Series, a racing championship for female drivers introduced in 2019, which she won in its debut year. Even though Jamie Chadwick hasn't yet taken part in Formula 1 competitions, she has been a development driver for the Williams Formula 1 team since 2019.

    The Engineers 

    You can’t be what you can’t see, and these women are a perfect example of how women are making an impact in motorsport both on and OFF the track.

    • Hannah Schmitz - Hannah is the Principal Strategy Engineer for Oracle Red Bull Racing, where she frequently assists world champion driver Max Verstappen.
    • Ruth Buscombe - Ruth serves as the Head of Race Strategy for Alfa Romeo and is an ambassador for FIA GirlsOnTrackUK.
    • Bernadette Collins - Bernadette previously worked as a performance engineer at McLaren and head of race strategy at Aston Martin, but has since moved to Sky Sports F1.


    I am always eager to learn more and hear from others about who has inspired them. So, if you have any additional examples of women in motorsports who have inspired you, please share them in the comments section below, and I will gladly add them to the list!

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