Formula 1 has always been a male-dominated environment, but things are changing. From drivers through to presenters and all the jobs in between plenty of females are making waves within the sport and here are our top ten to look out for right now.
1) Susie Wolff
Image: Twitter, @Susie_Wolff
Susie is probably the most well-known female in the paddock at the moment. Though there have been doubters over her F1 involvement, people claiming nepotism due to the fact that she is married to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, Susie is the epitome of dedication to the sport. She has worked her way up from karting and has battled continuously for equality, being forced to drive in a pink car during her DTM days. Now Wolff has found her place in the sport where she is Williams’ test driver and at the 2014 British Grand Prix she became the first woman to compete in a race weekend since 1992 after partaking in the free practice session.
2) Claire Williams
Image: Twitter, @ALIADASenCADENA
Claire is the deputy team principal of the Williams team, named by her father Sir Frank who formed the team in 1977. Before people call out more cries of nepotism Claire has shown that the sport really is in her blood as she became a press officer at Silverstone after her graduation from Newcastle University in 1999. Moving into the family business she has worked her way from the bottom through many promotions to stand in the role she now holds.
3) Monisha Kaltenborn
Image: Twitter, @Kaltenborn_fans
Monisha is the current team principal at Sauber and is the first woman to hold this position in Formula 1. She also has a third share of the team and has a huge say in how things are run. Though she has had some tricky times, most recently the contract mix up with Giedo van der Garde and talk that she could face prison, she has always worked incredibly hard with the team and they have always finished in the top ten of the constructors championship since she took on the role.
4) Suzi Perry
Image: Twitter, @suziperry
Suzi really does wave the flag high for female motorsport presenters. Having been the face of Moto GP for 13 years she made the move into Formula 1 following Jake Humphrey’s departure to BT Sport. She has been the main host for the BBC F1 team since 2013 and adds a great new dynamic to the team of David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan who flank her come race weekend. Suzi has become the first female to take on a full-time main anchor role in the sport on British television and there is even speculation that she’ll be joining Chris Evans as a host of Top Gear.
5) Lee McKenzie
Image: Twitter, @LeeMcKenzieTV
The daughter of motorsport journalist Bob McKenzie Lee has climbed the ladder to success through a lot of hard work and determination. Before Suzi Perry was given the coveted F1 anchor role Lee would often step in for an absent Jake Humphrey and became the first woman to take on such a role in British TV. Since 2009 Lee has been the BBC’s pit lane reporter and also presents the Inside F1 show for BBC News. Lee doesn’t just do F1 though – she’s covered plenty of sports for the BBC and is seen annually at Wimbledon.
6) Jennie Gow
Image: Twitter, @JennieGow
Jennie is a dab hand at radio and TV, having Moto GP, Radio 5 Live and BBC F1 presenting under her belt. She replaced Perry as the host of Moto GP for the 2010 season and went on to be the Radio 5 Live pit lane reporter a year later, a job which she still holds. She also now works for ITV as the lead anchor for their coverage of the new Formula E championship.
7) Natalie Pinkham
Image: Twitter, @mylittlevip
Natalie began her F1 career as the Radio 5 Live pit lane reporter for the BBC but after only one season she transferred across to Sky Sports where she is their pit lane reporter, giving all the latest information and access across the race weekend. She also hosts The F1 Show and the glamorous sport has led to friendly links with the royals – Zara Phillips was just one of the many famous guests at her wedding in 2012.
8) Carmen Jorda
Image: Twitter, @CarmenJorda
Carmen is a racing driver, having competed in Le Mans and the Indy Lights Series. From 2012 until 2014 she was part of the GP3 series and is now a development driver for the Lotus F1 team. Like Susie Wolff Jorda has worked hard to move into the sport and her role within the team is vital for Lotus moving forward within Formula 1.
9) Alice Powell
Image: Twitter, @alicepowell
OK so Alice hasn’t quite made it to F1 yet but at the age of 22 she is the only female to gain points in the GP3 series and the only woman to ever win a Formula Renault championship. In 2013 she came second in Formula 3, having won five races that season, and looked set for a place in the Caterham F1 team but sadly they went into administration. Talk about making waves Alice is definitely one to look out for in the future.
10) Beitske Visser
Image: Twitter, @beitskevisser
Though Beitske hasn’t made it to F1 yet she has been a part of both the Formula Renault 3.5 series and GP3, scoring her first ever point at the former in Spa, a notoriously difficult circuit. The 20-year-old is currently still in GP3, competing for the Trident team, and was the first female to join the Red Bull Junior team. Though no longer with them she has plenty of time to try and move into F1 and shouldn’t be ruled out just yet.
Are there any other women who you think are making waves in F1? Have your say below.