Meet the women to have stood on the Formula 1 podium
The podium celebrations are a famous part of a Formula 1 weekend. Three drivers and one representative will stand on the podium to receive the trophies, acknowledging all of the enormous amounts of hard work gone into achieving these results.
The pinnacle of motorsport is known for being male-dominated, so Females in Motorsport decided to explore the women who have stood on the F1 podium and accepted the constructor’s trophy.
It’s safe to say that we were expecting a low number, however we weren’t quite prepared for that figure to be less than 10.
Lady Ginny Williams
The first woman to stand on a Formula 1 podium is none other than Virginia ‘Ginny’ Williams, the wife of Sir Frank Williams and mother of Claire Williams.
Both Frank and Claire have run the iconic Williams Racing Team for many years until Claire left the team in September 2020.
Ginny stood on the 1986 British Grand Prix podium where two Williams’ drivers stood alongside her: Nigel Mansell finished first and Nelson Piquet second. Originally, Frank Williams was meant to go onto the podium to collect the constructors trophy, but because of his involvement in a car accident, he was unable to go.
Ginny was asked to accept the award as a representative of the Williams team and family, which is not surprising since she has also played a vital role in the many successes of the Williams Formula 1 team.
Gill Jones, Red Bull Racing’s Head of Trackside Electronics, stood on the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix podium where Sebastian Vettel was victorious.
Red Bull Racing made history that weekend, becoming the first-ever team to send a woman representative to collect the constructors’ trophy.
Despite this, there were other key women working at the top level in the championship. Sauber had Monisha Kaltenborn at the helm, marking her as the first female team principal in Formula 1 history.
Bottom line: it was still quite uncommon to see women working in the industry even though that was only eight years ago.
At the 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Kim Stevens was invited to stand on the podium alongside Nico Rosberg, who won the race, and Lewis Hamilton, who came second.
Kim is a Trackside Aerodynamicist for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, meaning she is responsible for collecting and measuring the effectiveness of the aero upgrades and improvements at race weekends.
In 2015, Kim had been with Mercedes for one year and has now been with the team for more than seven years.
Mercedes was dominant again at the 2016 USA Grand Prix where they secured a 1-2 finish.
Hamilton won the race, with Rosberg finishing second and the team sent a second female representative to the podium to claim their prize.
Victoria Vowles accepted the constructors trophy and was a Partner Services Director at the time. Currently, she is still part of the team and is the reigning champion’s Director of Marketing Operations.
Margarita Torres Diez
A third woman represented Mercedes on the podium at the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix.
It was Trackside F1 Power Unit Engineer Margarita Torres Diez, who had been working with the team since 2014, who joined Hamilton on the podium. Margarita had been working with the Renault Formula 1 Team for four years, before she moved to Mercedes. She is currently still part of the Mercedes team and is based at the High Performance Powertrains factory in Brixworth.
Hannah Schmitz was invited onto the podium alongside Max Verstappen at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix podium as a reward for her pit stop call that helped Verstappen win the race. It is said that her call in 2021 helped Verstappen to secure another victory in the ever-closer title fight.
Hannah is the Senior Strategy Engineer at Red Bull Racing, meaning she helps the Milton Keynes-based outfit tackle different rival strategies during the weekend. During the Brazilian GP, she asked Verstappen to make a third pit stop which led to him winning the race.
She has been a part of the strategy team since 2011 and has now been in her current role for 10 years.
As a member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG - and currently the second female member of the board - Britta joined Hamilton at the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to collect the constructors' trophy.
She joined Mercedes-Benz AG in 1989 and has been a member of the Mercedes-Benz AG Board since 2017, where she is responsible for marketing and sales. Britta also holds positions on the board of directors of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team and Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix.
After Bottas took victory at the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix, Holly Chapman joined the Finnish driver as a representative for the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 Team.
Holly is Bottas’ Trackside F1 Power Unit Engineer and has been his engineer since January 2020 and has been a part of the Mercedes team for more than 6 years now.
At the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was joined by Stephanie Travers to collect the constructor’s trophy, who’s a Petronas trackside fluid engineer.
In her role, Stephanie monitors the health of the fuel and lubricants that are being used by Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 Team during a race weekend, meaning she analyses samples throughout the weekend.
By standing on the podium that day, Stephanie became the first black woman to stand on the podium in Formula 1 history which is a fantastic and beautiful achievement.
These nine women have paved the way for future women in motorsport to stand on the Formula 1 podium, however it is a stark reminder that more needs to be done to increase diversity and gender equality in motorsport.
Out of some 200 races since 2010, 9 women have collected the constructors’ trophy. That’s only four percent.