Written by Jiya Mahapatra, Edited by Meghana Sree
There is an amazing woman who works in the wonderful world of Formula One. She has often been seen in pit lanes conducting interviews with drivers, and you have probably heard her voice on your television, sharing her observations with you during the race. At the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2021, she made history to become the first woman to commentate an F1 race. She is one of the few females in the paddock, and does all of this while facing one of life’s biggest challenges: motherhood.
Who is this superwoman? Her name is Natalie Pinkham, a pit lane reporter and presenter for Sky Sports F1. Pinkham has had an extremely successful career, and seeing a woman succeeding in this male-dominated field has set the precedent that women are fully capable of working in motorsports. From this, she has become an inspiration to the next generation of F1 journalists.
After graduating from the University of Nottingham with a degree in politics, Pinkham began her career as a researcher for the BBC show Ready, Steady, Cook, and then went on to be an assistant producer on other shows, such as The International King of Sports. She finally began working as a pit lane reporter for Sky Sports F1 in 2012, alongside fellow female reporter Georgie Thompson. Pinkham has come a long way since then, and is one of the main faces of Sky Sports F1, alongside Ted Kravitz, Naomi Schiff, and Martin Brundle, to name a few.
Pinkham paved the way for all the women dreaming of working in F1 journalism and presenting, and she is a key player in the rise of women working in this sport; though this wasn’t always the case. When she started working for Sky Sports, there weren’t many females in the paddock. In fact, when speaking with Lissie Mackintosh on the Going Purple with Lissie Mackintosh podcast, she said: “You could count the number of females in the paddock on one hand.”
That being said, a lot of successful journalists have been inspired by her grit and passion, and are grateful to have a strong female figure to turn to for advice. In the same conversation, Mackintosh said: “It’s a tough one that you didn’t have that, but now I see you as that figure.”
On top of that, Pinkham is also a mother of two, and has the additional challenge of balancing her career with family time. Considering that her job requires her to be constantly travelling around the world for races, the fact that she is still able to spend quality time with her children and family is an incredible feat. She is essentially proving to all women who may be worried about maintaining a successful career whilst being a mother that while it may not be easy, it is indeed possible.
We cannot wait to see what the future holds for Natalie Pinkham. She has been an inspiration to us all and has only changed the sport for the better.