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Woman Spotlight Wednesday: Monisha Kaltenborn.

Written by Poppy Evans, 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 motor racing world to the present day. Women Spotlight Wednesday aims to take a look at the tales of these superwomen, who have surpassed various hurdles to reach where they are today.

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‘There's always more that can be done. If you look at the current state and see there are no women in a prominent position tells you that a lot more has to be done.’

This week, we get to highlight one of the most influential women who has majorly diversified Formula One — Monisha Kaltenborn — the very first female team principal of a Formula One team.

Monisha was born in India and raised in Austria after moving to the country with her family as a young child, and she did not have a passion for Formula One growing up…

For five years, Kaltenborn studied law at the University of Vienna, before going on to complete a Masters degree at the London School of Economics in the field of International Business Law in 1996. It was when Kaltenborn became a part of the Fritz Kaizer group (a company with interests in many different sectors of business) as a part of a project that her love for Formula One sprouted and blossomed. 

‘The insight I got into the sport, I realised so much more to it than what you see on TV and so many interesting aspects.’

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In 2000, Kaltenborn joined the Sauber F1 team to head the legal department. However, everything changed once her love for Formula One brewed. A decade later, Monisha became the CEO of Sauber. 

At the end of the 2011 season, Peter Sauber (The founder of Sauber) transferred one third of the team's equity to Kaltenborn, making her an owner of the Sauber team.

Just under two years later and twenty years after Saubers entry to F1, Monisha Kaltenborn was history's first ever female team principal in Formula One! ‘It was a very big responsibility’

‘Because I was for so long already a part of the establishment I never really faced in there any negatives but it was more from people from the outside’   

‘It took over a year for a journalist to ask me a question about a technical aspect.’

Monisha Kaltenborn indefinitely is a disciplined, determined and driven woman, \ a true trailblazer for all women in motorsport, she has proven to other women, 'If she can do it, I can do it too.’  Emphasising that anything is possible, especially in such a male dominated sport.

Image Credits: The Telegraph

‘Be prepared. If you are good, you can manage it. You will be criticised much more in a harsh way. You have to be a lot better than a male colleague to even get close to that recognition.’


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