Exclusive: Venturi's Team Principal Wolff spoke to GMSW about Girls On Track project

F1 Testing In Barcelona - Day Two

Representation matters in life and that is even more relevant when discussing women in sport, a fact that Venturi Team Principal Susie Wolff is extremely aware of. Susie Wolff spoke exclusively to GiveMeSport Women's Natasha Henry in Berlin this weekend. 

The former driver created her Dare to be Different charity to show girls that there is a place for them in the male-dominated world of Motorsport. And along with the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission and Formula E, they were able to hold their second Girls on Track event at this season's Berlin E-Prix.

After holding the inaugural event in Mexico last year, the programme in Germany saw 200 girls aged 8-18 experiencing the different roles they can hold in a world that has traditionally excluded them. Lessons in safety, engineering, media and on track karting were delivered to give them a rounded view of an industry they could one day work in. 

Wolff said: "It's not until you see the young girls on the track that you realise how powerful it is for a lot of them.

"For most, it's the first time they've been in a racing environment and had the opportunity to come into a paddock and see the Formula E cars.

"It's such an empowering day where they get to push themselves out of their comfort zone and into a completely different environment."

In order to open the participant's eyes to a wider Motorsport world, Wolff brought together a group of ambassadors who represent some of the leading females in the sport.

President of the Women in Motorsport Commission, Michèle Moulton and engineer Leena Gade both know personally the importance of events such as these having become involved in the sport during periods where they were often the only female voice in the room.

Gade fought hard to be taken seriously and her tenacity, coupled with her intelligence meant she was the engineer of the winning team at the Le Mans 24hour race a total of three times.

While Mouton was initially able to take to the track through the support of her father, who challenged her to prove she was good enough. Something she did when she was runner-up in the 1982 World Rally Championship and she remains the only woman to compete in rallying at the top level. 

Susie Wolff

Discussing her aim through her role at the FIA, Mouton explained: "What I am fighting for with the commission is to show the teams that they can give the chance to one of the talented girls.

"There are at least two current drivers who could be racing at Formula 1."

Although she declined to name them, one may have been her fellow ambassador Sophia Flörsch; the highly rated 17-year-old who has already returned to racing after her 276km/hr crash at the Macau Grand Prix. A situation that many suggested she was lucky to survive. 

Girls On Track

Whether the teenager achieves her aim of competing in Formula 1 remains to be seen but it is dreams like hers that the Girls on Track aims to help thrive.

As Wolff explained with her final message to the youngsters she works hard to educate about the sport.

She said: "We're inspiring the next generation and if we increase the talent pool, there will be more women entering the sport with the most talented rising to the top.

"Go for out. Figure out which area of the sport you have a passion for, what ignites that flame inside you and get involved." 

Girl On Track

***CREDIT*** "The FIA Girls On Track - Dare To Be Different is inspiring the next generation of women in motorsport. Find out more here: www.fia.com/women-motorsport"

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