Women in Motorsport announces first ambassadors
15 June 2012 – The FIA’s Women in Motorsport Commission (WMC) has named the first ambassadors, who will now represent the body in different segments of motor racing. The five women were present at a gathering at the FIA headquarters in Paris on Thursday afternoon.
The first five representatives for the WMC scheme are Michèle Mouton who is the only female driver to have won a World Championship rally, Katherine Legge who tested a Minardi F1 car in 2005, Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn, Williams F1 development driver Susie Wolff and official Marussia F1 reserve driver María de Villota.
“Women nowadays do have the competence, the self-confidence and the education to follow a professional career in any area they choose, but still they need the right opportunities to achieve their goals,” says Indian-born Sauber head Kaltenborn. “The challenge now is to develop the platforms for them, so they have equal chances to show their abilities in all business areas they are interested in, which may include motorsport.”
De Villota believes the programme will help boost confidence levels for women who hope to progress to the top of the motorsport ladder.
“It is very important to let other women know that, with enough belief and application, you can overcome any hurdle,” the Spaniard comments. “If I can be an F1 test driver, I am sure a lot of women can be. It is purely a question of talent, hard work and commitment. I gave my life to motorsport and just kept the faith that my optimism would be rewarded.”
To date, the only female to have scored in a Formula 1 race was Italy’s Lella Lombardi, who notched up half a point by finishing sixth for March in the shortened 1975 Spanish Grand Prix at Montjuic Park.