Formula 1™ sole female Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn and esteemed category commentator David Coulthard have given their support to the Women of Australian Motor Sport (WAMS) at the Formula 1™ Rolex Australian Grand Prix today, after making a special guest appearance to support women in motor sport.
In its third year, and supported by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS), the WAMS Luncheon brought together the international motorsport identities to impart their experiences in motor sport as well as their thoughts on the successes in which women achieve in the industry.
Kaltenborn, an ambassador for FIA Women in Motor Sport Commission, was pleased to see WAMS celebrating the varied roles in which women play.
“It’s great to see that the interest women are having in motorsport is growing in general,” said Kaltenborn. “It starts with young girls maybe watching races, seeing the technical challenge, and then you see women studying the right areas and working at the track which is a great thing. I fully believe in diversity and things can only get better with more women around.
“I think the Commission is a very important platform and it’s great that our Federation [the FIA] is supporting this. We want to be a platform for young women who want to pursue a career in motorsport and we don’t only just look at drivers. We’re here to tell girls that there are already women working and succeeding in a wide range of roles, and if you want to go for this you really need to believe in yourself.”
“Women have the education, the confidence, and the competence to do anything they want to in motorsport but what they really often lack is that opportunity, so it’s very important that men play a part in that.”Kaltenborn also believed that the role of men in the industry and their support played a vital role in the growth of women’s participation in motor sport.
David Coulthard, who currently works on the BBC Sport’s F1 coverage as an expert commentator, joined Kaltenborn in saying that supporting women in motor sport needs to start from an early age.
“It’s very much about trying to support the very young ladies who show an interest in driving and having that support system through karting, into cars and then enable them to develop the skills,” said Coulthard. “Inevitably, if you’re someone who has spent more time and focus on that particular goal, then you’re more than likely going to be more finely tuned at that role irrespective of being a man or a women
“If I look at my time in motorsport from karting through to Formula 1, women have always played a big role in motor sport. My younger sister used to race karts and was well known in the family that she was faster than I was! So in terms of talent behind the wheel, there is no reason why ladies can’t be competing at the highest level.”
Also in attendance was one of Australia’s most successful female international exports, rally driver Molly Taylor, who recently claimed the inaugural FIA European Rally Championship Ladies Trophy, along with Williams F1 Development Driver Susie Wolff, last year’s luncheon guest speaker and also an Australian Grand Prix Ambassador.
Andrew Papadopoulos, President of CAMS (Australia’s governing body of motor sport) commended WAMS on striving to push the boundaries for creating opportunities and increased exposure for women in motor sport.
“We couldn’t be happier,” said Papadopoulos. “CAMS fully supports WAMS. I know internationally WAMS is seen as one of the most progressive organisations in all of the FIA. The committee should be very proud and we as CAMS thank them for all they’ve done for the sport.”
WAMS would like to thank the Luncheon’s supporting sponsors: Penrite, ProPlenish, BMW Mornington, Grime Boss, Auto Skills Australia and CAMS.
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Chair of WAMS
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