Women as Team Principals in Formula One 2013

2013 Woman of Australian Motor Sports (WAMS) held their annual luncheon at the start of this year’s F1 season weekend wherein Mazda was announced as the rights partners. Held at the 2013 Formula 1 Rolex Australian GP, the auto major will be instrumental in bringing together leaders in sport, business and media on a common platform. Guest speaker at the events was Indian born, Monisha Kaltenborn, team principal of Sauber Formula 1 team. She is the first female team principal in Formula One.

Belinda Taylor, Chairperson of Women of Australian Motor Sport, and Australia’s delegate to the FIA’s Women and Motor Sport Commission said, “To have someone of Monisha’s experience and standing within the motor sport community speak at the luncheon is a huge benefit to WAMS and all women involved in the sport.” She added, “With so few women at the top end of the sport, to learn from her life and career experience will be invaluable.There’s so many great contirbutions made by women in this sport and WAMS is excited to host such a great event to encourage and recognise that. Hopefully being able to share Monisha’s story will inspire more women to participate in all sorts of roles within Australian motor sport.”

Taylor added, “The luncheon is all about bringing together the most successful and prominent people in all sorts of industries – from government, various sporting bodies, business and the media – so that we can educate others on all the great work that women do within motor sport in Australia, and showcase what WAMS has in store to support those women in the coming season.” “To have Michael Schumacher make a guest appearance last year, and now Monisha next week, we’re thrilled to get that level of support.”

Women coming together for a common cause were what F1s Suzie Wolff was ecstatic about specially in the arena of motor sports. Wolff is ambassador for FIA Women in Motor Sport Commission and was happy about this major event such as the 2012 Formula 1 Rolex Australian GP which was held in Australia’s Albert Park from March 14-17, 2013.

Wolff imparted some advice to women racers who came together to share their passion for motorsports. Mazda was thanked for their support and assistance in inspiring women racers in a predominantly male oriented sport. WAMS in turn will be backing the Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge hoping that women compete on an equal footing with their male counterparts.

This week Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC announced that Claire Williams is now appointed Deputy Team Principal of the Williams F1 Team, working alongside Founder and Team Principal Sir Frank Williams. The new development marks a clear succession path for Williams. The new appointment announcement, which was to be made before the start of the 2013 F1 season was delayed to respect the Formal One family’s privacy in the wake of Lady Virginia Williams demise earlier this month. Claire Williams will continue to work as Commercial Director handling marketing, communications and sponsorship functions, and as part of the Company’s Board of Directors.

Claire Williams has served as Director of Marketing and Communications at Williams thsi past year, handles commercial strategy of the business and oversees generation of new revenue. She began her career with the team as Williams press officer in 2002, and was promoted to Head of Communications in 2010. In 2011, after Williams floated on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, she stepped in as Head of Investor Relations.

Sir Frank Williams said, “Over the past decade Claire has worked tirelessly for Williams. Her knowledge of the sport and passion for the team is unquestionable and I’m proud to say that during her time here she has proven herself to be one of our most valuable assets. With Claire being appointed Deputy Team Principal, I know the future of Williams is in extremely safe hands. This appointment also had Ginny’s blessing who I know would have been incredibly proud to have seen Claire taking on this position by my side.”

Claire Williams said; “I’m truly honoured to be taking on the role of Deputy Team Principal and look forward to working alongside Frank to help run the team this season and beyond. I have grown up in the sport and have learnt the ropes from one of Formula One’s legendary Team Principals and as a result I feel well equipped for this new challenge. I understand the commitment that every person within the team gives each day to see our car out on the track and I am determined to see us back at the top. I don’t underestimate the challenges that lie ahead but I have the full support of the Board and a very talented Executive Committee who will be invaluable as I move forward in this role. It has been a sad month for my family and Williams as a company following the death of my mother, but as the season takes hold we must look to the future. It will be a privilege to play a part in taking the team into what I hope will be a successful next chapter.”