How Britta Roeske's career is inspiring the next generation
Britta Roeske, the Press Relations Manager of the four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel, has been crowned by the media as the “PR Queen”. From organising an event at the 2004 Nürburgring GP to being recognised as a key pillar inside the paddock, Females in Motorsport decided to tell you about her wonderful journey.
We're used to hearing stories about legendary drivers whose exploits have inspired entire generations. However, there are other stories that should be told - stories of women who’ve joined those drivers, guiding them in their career. They’re with that driver every step of the way, through the highs and lows, there to pick them up after a crash, supporting them through their darkest days and they’re there living their greatest achievements next to them.
Britta Roeske’ story is one of these tales.
WHERE IT ALL STARTED
Originally from North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Britta Roeske’s motorsport career began in 2004, when she was introduced by Patrizia Spinelli to Flavio Briatore - at the time the Team Principal of the Renault F1 Team - during the Nürburgring GP.
With a degree in economics, modern languages & journalism, Britta obtained a contract as a trainee in the communications department of the Enstone’s team. Britta, who seemed to have the PR career sewn on her, confessed a few years later that she had accepted the job immediately and she’s never had any regrets since then.
THE TURNING POINT: BRITTA JOINS RED BULL RACING
In 2005, she joined the newly born Red Bull Racing team and from 2010 she started working with a very young Sebastian Vettel at the beginning of his brilliant career. Britta immediately began to manage Vettel’s appearances during the race weekends, personally checking every question the journalists would have asked the German driver. Soon she became a reference for commentators and sponsors inside the paddock, who - still to this day - turned directly to her to know the availability of the pilot to interviews or specific appearances.
Britta has never left the four-time world champion’s side since, becoming the only PR at the track who’s directly employed by a driver.
We cannot think that behind the four world titles won, Britta hasn’t played a fundamental role: together, the two have created and maintained over the years the image of a driver in continuous evolution and improvement; an image built by Britta that has elevated Vettel, also thanks to his talent, to legend of Formula 1 in a relatively short period of time.
There have been many controversies around the figure of the driver in his Red Bull years, such as the infamous Multi-21 of 2013, when Vettel ignored team orders, overtaking Mark Webber and winning the Malaysian Grand Prix. Even then, Britta was there, ready to masterfully manage the media in one of the longest-debated moments in Vettel’s career.
HER TIME AT FERRARI
After the announcement of Vettel to Ferrari in 2015, many wondered about the fate of this consolidated team but no one was really surprised to see Britta wearing red during the Australian Grand Prix that same year.
Her work, however, wasn’t and isn’t limited to being Vettel's Press Relations Manager: Britta became responsible for every appearance of the driver, as well as the one who personally oversees his commitments. A true force of nature, she manages the driver’s brand image in its entirety. During Vettel’s time at Ferrari, Britta never missed her pledges: never a flaw, never a word out of place even when, for the driver, came the darkest moment of his career.
THE ASTON MARTIN CHAPTER
Vettel officially joined the newly formed Aston Martin squad in 2020, rocking emerald green for the first time. The initial expectations were high, given to the Aston Martin reputation in the motorsport world, but one question has captivated the media's attention: will Britta still follow Sebastian?
The answer came directly from the four-time world champion, who remarked, "If I continue, she continues" - a promise made to emphasise how fundamental and crucial Britta's presence in Vettel's orbit is. A line that expresses, once and for all, how much Britta has done and continues to do to maintain the high and honourable image of a driver who has never been afraid to take a stand for his ideals.
HER IMPACT ON THE MEDIA
Talking about the impact that the presence of Britta has had in the PR world of F1 would deserve much more than a few lines written. How can you summarise the career of a woman as talented, as determined and as kind? How can you describe the tireless determination of a professional who has adapted to the needs of a single driver, following his path of growth, personal and professional, in the process?
Britta’s career cannot and must not be reduced to her presence alongside Vettel. It must be analysed from a more critical perspective that goes beyond the pilot and focuses on the organisational and communicative skills of a woman who has allowed many others to follow her footsteps over the years, serving as an example and inspiring them.
It must be recognised her ability to create a linear image of a driver, to make him loved even if away from social media spotlights, double-edged tools from which, both, have distanced themselves for years. Britta was able to maintain Vettel’s reputation and image far away from social media even when it was the easiest, most immediate way to reach fans. And perhaps, this choice was among the most successful ones, as the maximum expression of her commitment and professionalism.
Many people have been wondering what Britta will do, now that Vettel has declared his retirement. We at Females in Motorsport can only applaud her for having been and continuing to be a source of inspiration for many young women who, seeing her at work, have at least once exclaimed: "I want to be like her".
And we totally understand that.
See it. Be it.