Written by Jenny Clynes, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri
Women have played an influential role throughout the history of motor racing. Many have taken to the wheels of motorsport machines, while numerous figures have worked tirelessly on the sidelines in various roles, shaping the racing world to the present day. Woman Spotlight Wednesday aims to take a look at the tales of these superwomen, who have surpassed various hurdles to reach where they are today.
Today’s article dives into the tale of a Formula One presenter, a lively personality, and one of the newest faces in the world of motorsport journalism, someone who’s got a surreal story of finding her way into Formula One.
Ariana Bravo is a Formula One presenter, and one of the newest additions to the UK’s Channel 4 Formula One journalism team. She is a rising star in the world of motorsport journalism, and is a bubbly personality, with an inspiring journey into the world of Formula One.
When Bravo was younger, and considering career paths, Formula One never seemed to be an option. In 2016, Ariana graduated from The University of Nottingham with a degree in economics, and started working in the consultancy industry. It was only a few years later when she slowly found her way into Formula One.
Bravo had always grown up in a Formula One household, as her dad was a massive fan of the sport. However, she developed passion for the sport too, when she actively kept up with every race.
Bravo’s motorsport career began when she started her own F1 instagram account, regularly posting information and race news. After attending the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix while on holiday, she began to make IGTV videos (now called ‘Instagram Reels’) presenting race overviews on Wednesdays, Qualifying reports on Saturdays, followed by race reports on Sundays. Ariana’s regularity on social media helped her gain confidence in front of the camera. Her following grew over the next nine months, until she was discovered by Formula One Management in 2020, who got in contact with her, with a desire to work with her.
This also coincided with Bravo also co-founding the Driven by Diversity Podcast with Steph Turner. The two met at a FIA Girls on Track event in the UK, and bonded over the desire to give underrepresented groups a voice in motorsport to share their stories and successes. The podcast aims to empower its listeners to work for their goals in motorsport, regardless of their background, and looks to provide a space in motorsport for everyone.
In 2021, Bravo was contacted by Autosport, and was offered a role to present their race coverage podcast. This was an immense opportunity which propelled her journalism career. It was only a few months later when Ariana officially started working with Formula One, where she filmed content for Track TV, viewed by the live audiences at the Grands Prix. Just over halfway through 2021, Ariana took the plunge, and after four years of working at a consultancy firm, quit her day job to pursue her passion, and hasn’t looked back since.
Two years later, she now follows Formula One around the world, working for both British television Channel Four, and Formula One itself. She mainly works on Track TV, pre-race shows, driver parade interviews and podium interviews. As of 2022, Ariana is also a Girls on Track ambassador in the UK, inspiring women and girls all over the UK to pursue their passions in motorsport.
Bravo is truly an inspiration, and for plenty of reasons. She advocates a voice for anyone who has ever felt underrepresented in Formula One, promoting inclusivity in the sport. She also showcases the fact that there is no traditional pathway into motorsport journalism, your studies and early career can be something totally different, and you don’t necessarily need to limit your passions, and pursue one career for the rest of your life.