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Woman Spotlight Wednesday: Silvia Bellot

Written by Alejandra Guajardo Lozano, 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.

This week’s article is focused on the first female race director in Formula 1, Silvia Bellot.

Silvia Bellot was born in Barcelona, Spain, and is the daughter of racing executive Josep Maria Bellot. Bellot discovered her love for motorsport when she started watching Formula One at the tender age of six. 

Bellot’s father took her to local races, and ignited the thought of pursuing a career as a racing driver. Her mother eventually talked her into dropping the idea because it was too dangerous.

After leaving her dream of becoming a racing driver, she took an examination to be a route marshal and passed, becoming a marshal at just 16. Bellot then enrolled on a stewarding course and passed it. 

Bellot has been a steward in various championships like the World Rally Championship, the World Touring Car Championship, F3 World Cup, GP2, GP3, DTM, Euro Formula, and the World Series. 

In 2011, Bellot’s dreams came true when she was part of the panel of stewards at the Turkish Grand Prix. She assumed her role in many more races, and a year later she was awarded the FIA Outstanding Official at the FIA’s awards ceremony. 

The Spanish marshal also became an Ambassador of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, representing female officials. In 2020, she was also appointed as race director in the FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 championships, becoming the youngest person and the first woman to hold these roles.

In 2022, Bellot faced some difficulties when she became the target of social media hate, after the controversial decision to take and give back Fernando Alonso his P7 at the Austin Grand Prix. Even though the decision was made by the panel of stewards, Bellot was targeted for the decision. 

The then Alpine driver, Alonso, went to his Instagram stories to post an announcement condemning the abuse directed towards the female steward.

“I strongly condemn the recent online abuse which has been directed at FIA Race Steward Silvia Bellot. This type of hateful behaviour is unacceptable in sport and society. It is particularly deplorable that these comments are aimed at one of our sport’s volunteers and officials. 

I will continue to support the FIA and F1 in their efforts to drive out such harm and harassment and I call on others to do the same,” Alonso’s story read.

The Spanish steward is a valued member in the sport, and has many years of experience. This hate directed towards her was condemned by many, as she is a clear display of excellence in the industry and a crucial part of every Grand Prix weekend.

Silvia Bellot is a woman who has broken many standards in the sport, showing there is a place for women in volunteer and official positions. She is a clear example of leadership, hard work, and a perfect role model in the sport. Bellot is truly a super woman.

“I feel I have an extra responsibility because I am a role model for young women,” Bellot said in an interview with The Guardian. “In the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission we believe the best way is to show we have the women already in the sport. If I can do it, it proves someone else can do it. I know it could impact other women’s lives.


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