a red and white logo with a white background
Formula 1

Powerful Women in Formula 1

FanAmp Team
Read the latest F1 news from around the web
Download the app

March is International Women's History Month! FanAmp is continuing to celebrate by spotlighting 10 powerful women who influence Formula 1 on a daily basis!

From racing to commentating to running an entire racing series to strategy and engineering, women are ingrained in the Formula 1 world and are here to stay. Here are just some of the most powerful women in the sport!

Susie Wolff

F1 Academy Managing Director

Racing Career (2002 - 2015)
  1. Formula Renault UK (2002 - 2004): Highest finish was 5th place overall in the 2004 season with 284 points and 3 podiums
  2. British Formula 3 (2005) - Finished 18th with 2 points
  3. Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (2006 - 2012) - Highest finish was 13th place overall in the 2010 season with 4 points
  4. Formula 1 (2012 - 2015)
    1. Susie Wolff was both a development and test driver for Williams F1 Team (Williams Martini Racing in 2014 and 2015). In 2014 Susie became the first woman to drive at the British Grand Prix since 1992 (Giovanna Amati). She finished 15th out of 22 cars during the practice sessions that she drove, just 2 tenths off of Felipe Massa's time.
Professional Career (2016 - Present)
  1. Co-founded the non-profit, Dare to be Different (2016): It's main goal is to provide women with positive experiences in the motorsport world and increase the number of women involved in motorsports.
    1. Dare to be Different partnered with the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission for events at Formula E Races
    2. Now known as the FIA Girls on Track Program
  2. Mercedes F1 Team Ambassador (2016 - Present)
  3. Formula E, Venturi Racing Team Principal and Shareholder (2018 - 2022)
    1. In 2019, Venturi partnered with Mercedes for their powertrain thanks to Susie's connection to the team
    2. In the 2020 -2021 season, Edoardo Mortara, under Susie's management placed 2nd in the Driver's World Championship with 146 points (only 7 points short of Nyck de Vries (winner).
  4. Formula E, Venturi Racing CEO (2021 - 2022)
    1. Susie was promoted to CEO in 2021. Jerome d'Ambrosio became team principal. Susie departed the team at the end of the 2022 season as they rebranded to Maserati MSG Racing.
  5. Managing Director and Founder of F1 Academy (2023 - Present)
    1. Susie Wolff has always been the face of women in motorsports during the present era of Formula 1. In championing this representation, she became the face of F1 Academy. After only its first year of running, the series has been highly successful - earning it a spot on F1TV and similar F1 official broadcasts with sponsorships ranging from EVERY F1 team on the grid to Tommy Hilfiger and Charlotte Tilbury.
Fun Facts and Personal Life
  1. In 2013, Wolff was given an Honorary Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh as well as an ambassador for females across the sporting world.
  2. Susie Wolff was honored as a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2017 for services to women in sports.
  3. Susie is married to Mercedes AMG F1 Team Principal Toto Wolff with whom she has one child

Jessica Hawkins

Driver Ambassador and Head of F1 Academy Racing, Aston Martin F1 Team; Professional Stunt Driver; British GT Driver

Racing Career (2014 - Present)
  1. British Formula Ford Championship (2014): She competed in a one off event at Silverstone where she placed top 10 in all participating drivers
  2. MSA Formula (2015) - Hawkins only competed for half of the season but scored 13 points, placing 23rd overall
  3. MRF Challenge Formula 2000 (2015 - 2016) - Hawkins raced during the Bahrain round (2 races) and finished 27th overall.
  4. Volkswagen Racing Cup (2016) - She moved into single make racing (head to head racing in the exact same car) in 2016, finishing 22nd with 54 points.
  5. Mini Challenge UK - Pro Class (2017) - Jessica saw real success in this series during her season. Out of the 18 races entered, she won 5, was on the podium for 13 and scored a whopping 727 points putting her in 2nd place overall.
  6. Volkswagen Racing Cup GB (2018) - Although Hawkins only entered 2 races in this cup, she scored in both races earning her 36 points.
  7. W Series (2019 and 2021-2022) - Hawkins joined the W Series in 2019 for HiTech GP, returning with Racing X in 2021 and Click2Drive Bristol Street Motors in 2022. Her best finishes were 11th in 2019 and 2021, respectively.
  8. British Touring Car and Prototype Cups (2020 - 2023) - Throughout the more recent years, Jessica Hawkins competed in a number of car and protoype series. Her best finish was in 2023 during the Britcar Prototype Cup and Zeo Prototype Cup where she took home 2nd and 1st respectively

*Hawkins will compete in the British GT Championship (GT3) this year (2024).*

Aston Martin F1 Team

On May 19th of 2021, Jessica Hawkins was announced as the driver ambassador for the Aston Martin F1 Team. She still remains in this role, and it has expanded! In 2023, Jessica Hawkins became the first woman to drive an Aston Martin F1 car and the first woman to test drive an F1 car in 5 years (since Tatiana Calderón with Sauber in 2018). She drove 26 laps around Hungaroring in this test.

Her role has since expanded within the Aston Martin F1 Team - becoming the team's head of racing for F1 Academy, where she will be working closely with and serving as a mentor to Aston Martin's F1 Academy driver, Tina Hausmann.

Fun Facts
  1. Jessica holds the record for the fastest acceleration (0-100 mph) for a lawnmower!
  2. She is a renowned stunt driver!
    1. Hawkins has stunt drove for the Fast and Furious Live show (2018)
    2. She was the lead stunt driver for James Bond film "No Time to Die" - through Aston Martin (a renowned James Bond associated car).

Hannah Schmitz

Principal Strategy Engineer, Red Bull Racing

Career and Education
  1. Hannah began her career in motorsports immediately after graduating from the University of Cambridge with a Masters Degree of Engineering in 2009
  2. Modeling and Simulation Engineer, Red Bull Racing (2009 - 2011)
    1. Schmitz joined Red Bull Racing as through a student placement although most teams were in a hiring freeze due to the recession
    2. Once a full time worker left their role, Hannah was promoted to this position
  3. Senior Strategy Engineer, Red Bull Racing (2011 - 2021)
    1. Schmitz trained 'up' to a senior strategist role, in which she remained for almost a decade.
    2. She became a strategy engineer that is credited to nearly "be able to see the future" due to her renowned skill, and is credited for strategy decisions that will go down in the F1 history books.
  4. Principal Strategy Engineer, Red Bull Racing (2021 - Present)
    1. Hannah is now in the lead strategy role at Red Bull, leading the team to 2 Constructors Championship wins and 3 World Drivers Championship wins
    2. In this role she can choose to work on the track or back in the factory at Milton Keynes on any given race weekend... (Although you will likely see her on the pit wall for most races!)
Fun Facts
  1. Hannah Schmitz has been credited for some BOLD strategy decisions.... that have all paid off
    1. Her 'favorite' race moment was the controversial call during the 2019 Brazillian Grand Prix, pitting Max Verstappen early to lose his position. This call paid off when Leclerc and Vettel crashed, forcing Hamilton (the new race lead) to pit. Max and Red Bull won that race.
    2. Helmut Marko also famously said "if we won it was mainly due to Hannah” in reference to Sergio Perez's 2022 Monaco Grand Prix win.

Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Collins

Sky Sports and F1TV Strategy Analyst

Former Senior Race Strategist for Aston Martin
Career and Education
  1. Bernadette graduated from the Queens University, Belfast in 2009 with a Masters Degree in Engineering
    1. She joined the Formula Student program where universities design, test, construct, and drive small formula style cars.
  2. Graduate Trainee --> Engineer, McLaren Racing (2009 - 2011)
    1. Upon graduation, Hannah joined the graduate trainee program for McLaren, being placed into the Engineering track.
    2. During her second year, she transferred to their design department
  3. Design Engineer, McLaren Racing (2011 - 2013)
  4. Performance Engineer, McLaren Racing (2013 - 2015)
    1. In 2013, she primarily worked for the GT Team, but was given the strategy role for this year's India and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix's
    2. From 2014 on, she worked closely with Jensen Button.
  5. Performance and Strategy Engineer, Sahara Force India (2015)
    1. Collins left McLaren for a strategic role at Force India, working directly with Nico Hulkenberg.
    2. She helped the team score a podium at the 2015 Russian Grand Prix with Sergio Perez
  6. Senior Strategy Engineer, BWT Racing Point F1 Team (2016 - 2020)
    1. Technically Collins did not change teams, but she did receive a promotion to work at the same team under new owners
    2. She helped the team to 4th place in the Constructors Championship in 2016
  7. Head of Race Strategy, Aston Martin F1 Team (2020 - 2022)
    1. Again, Collins did not change teams, but received a promotion under the current leadership of Aston Martin.
  8. F1 Analyst, Formula 1 (2022 - Present) AND F1 Analyst, Sky Sports (2023 - Present)
    1. Bernadette hung up her team hat during the summer break of the 2022 season to take a front-facing role with F1TV and later Sky Sports
    2. You can now find her on broadcasts throughout the season, breaking down the strategy of all of the teams!
Fun Facts
  1. She is a member of the Forbes 30 under 30 class of 2016 for Manufacturing & Industry in Europe
  2. Since 2022 Bernie proudly fosters puppies for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association!

Claire Williams

Williams Advanced Engineering Ambassador

Former Deputy Team Principal of Williams Racing
Career and Education
  1. Claire Williams may have entered the motorsports world with a birthright (yes Williams as in THAT Williams), but she worked extremely hard to earn that birthright throughout her career and education
  2. She graduated from Newcastle University in 1999 with a degree in politics
  3. Press and Communications Officer, Silverstone Circuit (2000 - 2002)
    1. Claire began her career, not with her father's team, but with a track that is close to home
    2. She used this role to gain valuable experience in PR and make her own contacts throughout the motorsports world
  4. Press Officer --> Head of Communications --> Head of Investor Relations, Williams Racing, (2002 - 2012)
    1. Once joining Williams Racing, Claire worked her way up to a lead role after over a decade of working within the PR Department
    2. She helped Williams 'go public' as the Head of Investor Relations in 2012 on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange
  5. Commercial Director (Head of Marketing and Comms.), Williams Racing, (2012 - 2013)
    1. Immediately after her promotion, her father, Frank Williams, stepped down from the board of Williams Racing - making Claire the familial representative
  6. Deputy Team Principal, Williams Racing (2013 - 2020)
    1. Upon her father's departure, Claire was tapped to replace him as team principal
    2. In the early years of her tenure, there was a complete team restructure (from engineering to the actual drivers) leading to years of relative success from 2014 - 2017 in Formula 1
      1. The car finished in 3rd twice and then 5th twice (which was very out of character for recent years)
    3. During the 2020 season, Claire announced that they would have to sell the team to secure its future in F1, relinquishing her role completely in her family team
  7. Global Brand Ambassador, Williams Advanced Engineering (Present)
    1. Claire is still involved in other family ventures and continues to be a champion for women in motorsports, STEM careers, and primarily male dominated industries
Fun Facts
  1. Claire has been credited as one of the largest REASONS for women competing at higher levels of motorsports and made the hiring decision of Susie Wolff (2014 - 2015) and Jamie Chadwick
  2. Williams was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to Formula 1 in the 2016 Honors.

Ruth Buscombe

Former Head of Race Strategy at Sauber Motorsport (Alfa Romeo)

Career and Education
  1. Ruth began her career in motorsports, graduating from the University of Cambridge with a Masters of Engineering in 2012, specializing in Aerospace and Aerothermal Engineering
    1. She wrote her Master's Level Thesis on DRS and its effect on Formula 1 Cars
  2. Simulations Development Engineer, Scuderia Ferrari (2012 - 2014)
    1. Ruth's first job on an F1 team was in Ferrari just after graduation from Cambridge. This role essentially simulated the performance of the cars within different track conditions and on different tracks to help further improve strategy
  3. Race Strategist, Scuderia Ferrari (2014 - 2015)
    1. In 2014, Buscombe was promoted to a factory-based strategy role overseeing the cars of Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, and Sebastian Vettel
  4. Trackside Strategy Engineer, Haas F1 Team (2015 - 2016)
    1. After her tenure at Ferrari, Ruth was hired for one season by Haas during their first year in F1.
    2. Her strategy calls led Romain Grosjean to claim 2 top 6 finishes in Australia and Bahrain that season
  5. Head of Race Strategy, Sauber Motorsport AG (2016 - 2023)
    1. Ruth continued her tenure as a renowned race strategist with Sauber, trackside for over 7 seasons
      1. She worked on strategy with drivers including Charles Leclerc, Marcus Ericsson, Felipe Nasr, Pascal Wherlein, Kimi Raikkonen, Antonio Giovinazzi, Zhou Guanyu, and Valterri Bottas
    2. Ruth left the team at the end of the 2023 season, but it is highly speculated she will return to the F1 track after a mandated gardening leave
Fun Facts
  1. Ruth has been an Ambassador for the Dare to be Different campaign since 2016.
    1. The Campaign was founded by Susie Wolff and is a non-profit aiming to increase the participation of women in motorsports and change the views of women in male-dominated industries
  2. Ruth is engaged to another prominent figure in F1, Nathan Divey (ex-engineer for Lewis Hamilton, now at Ferrari).

Natalie Pinkham

Sky Sports F1 Presenter and Commentator

Career and Education
  1. Natalie Pinkham is a career presenter and reporter who began her career with a degree in Politics from the University of Nottingham (around 1999 - 2000)
  2. Researcher --> Assistant Producer at BBC Two (dates unknown)
    1. After graduation Pinkham landed a couple of roles behind the camera at BBC on Ready Steady Cook and International King of Sports
  3. Career in Presenting, various networks (~2004 - 2011) **Motorsports Presenting in bold
    1. Isle of Man TT, Men and Motors
    2. Tennis Masters World Cup
    3. Hosted Chelsea F.C.'s 'Blues News'
    4. FIFA World Cup (2006): World Cuppa Co Host with Christian O'Connell and Steve Bunce
    5. International Rugby Awards (2004)
    6. SALSA Fashion Show (2004)
    7. GOAL Aura of Asia (2005)
    8. Euro Beach Soccer League (2005)
    9. Beach Soccer World Cup (2006)
    10. The Bix Fix, Co-Host (2011)
    11. Poker Channel, Lead host and presenter (dates unknown) - Including the World Series of Poker and World Cup of Poker
    12. Goodwood Festival of Speed Co-Host (2010 - 2011)
    13. BBC Radio 5 Live's Formula 1 Host (2011 season)
      1. This role began at the 2011 Australian Grand Prix and was the start of her solo motorsports presenting career
  4. Pit Lane Reporter, Presenter, and Host, Sky Sports F1 (2012 - Present)
    1. Natalie replaced Georgie Thompson (her friend from university!) as the pit lane reporter for 2012
    2. Since this point, Natalie has been a key member of the Sky Sports team and a face of female representation in F1
    3. She presented the 2023 Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Car Launch alongside Naomi Schiff
Fun Facts
  1. Natalie Pinkham became the FIRST WOMAN to ever commentate an F1 Session on British Television in 2021 during Bahrain Practice 1 alongside Karun Chandhok and Jensen Button
  2. S is on the board of trustees for Access Sport and is an ambassador for idsAid and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. She's also a patron of Hope and Homes for Children.

Naomi Schiff

Sky Sports F1 Analyst and Presenter

Former Racing Driver
Racing Career (2010 - 2021)
  1. Formula Volkswagen South Africa Championship (2010): Debut to single-seater racing, finished 17th with 7 points overall.
  2. Formula Renault Series (Asian and Eurocup) (2013): After a quick break from racing, her best finish was 11th with 24 points.
  3. Challenge Series (Ferrari and Supercar SR3) (2013 - 2014): She only raced a few rounds of each of these series - her best finish being 11th with 20 points.
  4. Cilo Cup China (2013 - 2014): Schiff's best performance to date was in the Cilo Cup! She finished 1st in her 2014 season and took home well over 300 points across the 10 races.
  5. 24 Hours Series (2014 - 2018): Naomi raced in several endurance races throughout her racing career including Zolder (2014), GT series (2017, 2018), and Nurburgring (2018)
    1. In her first 24 hours race (Zolder), Schiff finished 2nd in Class 2.
    2. During the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, finishing 2nd in class (39th overall) in the Cup X class.
  6. GT4 European Series (2016 - 2017): Her best result overall was 28th place with 14 points in her second season in 2017
  7. W Series (2019, 2021): The final series that Naomi drove was the W series with HiTech GP
    1. In 2019 she raced a full season, finishing 16th overall with 2 points
    2. During her 2021 season, she was a Reserve driver, prioritizing her duties as the Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador in the W Series as well as her new role of Presenter/ Analyst for the series
Professional Career (2021 - Present)
  1. Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador, W Series (2019 - 2021)
    1. During Naomi's first year, and the COVID break year of the W Series, she became the face and representation of Diversity and Inclusion within the sport
    2. This public facing role is what ultimately propelled her to her current career of presenting
  2. Analyst and Presenter, W Series (2021 - 2022)
    1. Ultimately Schiff moved into a presenter and analyst role for a series after 'hanging up' her racing helmet until the Series dissolution in 2022
  3. F1 Analyst and Presenter, Sky Sports (2022 - Present)
    1. Naomi is now in the role that most of us will recognize her from - being one of the 'boots on the ground' for Sky Sports in Formula 1
    2. Her debut was alongside Natalie Pinkham during the 2022 Mercedes AMG F1 Car Launch
Fun Facts and Personal Life
  1. Although Schiff was born in Belgium, she is Rwandan, was raised in South Africa, and has proudly raced in Africa throughout her career.
  2. Naomi is often tied with Lewis Hamilton as being champions for women and women of color in motorsports.

Erin Grocott

Component Assembly Technician at Williams Racing

Career and Education
  1. Erin began her motorsports journey with a VERY specific goal in mind. She graduated from the National Motorsports Academy in 2023
    1. Her career began long before this, though!
  2. Single - Seater Mechanic, W - Series (2019)
    1. Erin approached the W - Series representatives at the Autosport International Show in 2019 to express her interest in gaining career experience while in college
  3. Contract Mechanic Programs, Pure McLaren and FIA Motorsport Games (2019)
    1. In an effort to build out her CV, Erin took short term contract jobs throughout 2019
      1. She worked trackside for 10 days with McLaren in Bahrain AND ran a car SOLO for the FIA Motorsport Games
      2. In the FIA Motorsport Games, her team took home 3rd place in the F4 Cup
  4. BTCC Mechanic, EXCELER8 Motorsport
    1. This was Erin's first full time/ full season role in closed - wheel racing
  5. Component Assembly Technician, Williams Racing (2021 - Present)
    1. Erin's first race with the team was Saudi Arabia 2021, just after the death of Sir. Frank Williams
    2. She has worked trackside on a number of Williams cars since then, and is still a valued member of their team!
Fun Facts
  1. Erin didn't want a career in motorsports growing up - she wanted to be a dancer!
    1. While she had been a fan for most of her childhood, her passion was always to dance professionally - this changed once she "realised it was actually a possibility" to work in motorsport as a viable career path!

Read all the latest Formula 1 news from around the web in the app
Download the app

Related Articles