Formula 1 Most Influential Female Drivers 2022
In 2020, Formula 1 lost its most visible female face when Williams team principal Claire Williams announced that her family would be leaving the sport after 43 years. And while the Williams team’s problems had been evident for some time, Claire Williams was still one of only two female team principals in F1 history, along with Sauber’s Monisha Kaltenborn. So, without that representation in the paddock, who are the most influential women in F1 today?
1. Susie Wolff
Susie Wolff may be best known as the wife of Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, but she’s also a talented racer in her own right. A former karting champion, she raced in Formula Renault and Formula 3 before an injury forced her to take a step back. However, she returned to racing nearly a decade later, when her 2014 test drive for Williams made her the first woman in decades to drive in an F1 Grand Prix weekend. Since then, she has become the CEO of Venturi Racing in Formula E, and launched a diversity in motorsports initiative called Dare to be Different.
2. Jamie Chadwick
Think again if you think that W Series, the all-female championship that British racer Jamie Chadwick has dominated for years, has no bearing on what happens in F1. For one thing, the series announced this year that it would race alongside Formula 1 at eight Grand Prix weekends on the 2022 calendar, the first of which was in Miami. And returning champ Chadwick isn’t just racing at the same time as the boys – she’s also driving their cars. In 2019, Chadwick signed with Williams as a development driver, and the team announced earlier this year that she will continue on in the Williams Racing Driver Academy.
3. Jennie Gow
In recent years, Jennie Gow has become one of the most prominent female voices in Formula 1, thanks to her starring role in Netflix’s mega-popular F1 series Drive to Survive. Along with Will Buxton, Gow is one of the show’s recurring F1 commentators, showing up in every episode to provide context and expertise on the drama playing out onscreen. Before her reality TV debut, Gow had nearly a decade of experience covering F1 as a journalist, and she recently announced that she would be joining the Extreme E series as a co-lead commentator.
4. Alice Powell
Alice Powell is another British driver who has done exceptionally well in W Series, earning third overall in 2019 and second in 2021. And although she’s announced that the 2022 season will likely be her last, she still has plenty to look forward to in F1, as Alpine announced this month that she had secured a spot in their driver development program. Powell will be the Talent Identification and Development Mentor for Alpine Academy, meaning she’ll be on the front lines of finding the Formula 1’s next generation.
5. Chloe Targett-Adams
On the business side of things, Chloe Targett-Adams has been helping to shape F1’s future as Global Director of Race Promotion, a role that she has held since 2020 (she was previously the Global Director of Promoters and Business Relations). Last year, Adams was included in Paddock Magazine’s annual Formula 1 Power List, which highlighted her desire to expand F1 into even more countries in the next few years.
Related: Women in Motorsports Today: A Few of the Best in the U.S.
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