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Women In Motorsport: Pathways to F1

There's no one path into motorsport. Everyone starts from different beginnings, finds their niche in different areas, and carves their own journey into the sport they and we love so much.

For International Women's Day, we caught up with four members of our team who have all realised their dream of working in motorsport through different paths.

Junior drivers Doriane and Luna, along with factory-based Isla and Anna all play a crucial part in making us who we are and driving the team forward on a daily basis, whether at the racetrack or back at base.

Below are their stories.

What first made you want to get into motorsport?

Doriane: My passion came from my Dad, who used to organise karting events. I also used to watch the F1 races on TV with him, and that made me want to get involved and do it myself one day.

Isla: Racing is what made me want to get into motorsport because no other feeling compares to it. Working with racing cars everyday was my goal but if you had told a young Isla that she would be working for this team, she would have never believed it.

Anna: Me, my brother, and my sister went to an Arrive and Drive session at our local karting track and loved the speed. Once we bought our first kart we never looked back!

Luna: I grew up in a competitive environment, because my family all raced. That's what made me want to get into motorsport.

What steps did you take to get into motorsport?

Isla: I studied an HNC in Engineering Systems at my local college before completing a degree in Motorsport Design Engineering. I obtained my first job in Formula One at Williams in 2017 and then joined the Mercedes team in 2021. It was always a dream to race myself, but I didn't start karting until a few years ago.

Anna: I tried to gather as much experience as possible, attending networking events, getting involved with initiatives such as Dare to be Different. This helped grow my CV and I made lots of valuable contacts who have helped me along the way.

Luna: I started by attending summer camp. From there I went into mini karts, before getting involved with European races. From there I continued to build my career.

Doriane: My dad used to organise karting events, and watching those races made me really passionate for the sport. I had to wait until I was nine years old though, because I wasn't tall enough!

From that age, I started competing and went through all the go kart categories until I tried an F4 car at 15 years old. After that I joined Iron Dames and began my professional career in endurance racing.

What was your first experience in motorsport?

Anna: I raced in cadets with my twin brother and also watched my elder sister in juniors. Together we created a family team with my father, Team Morris Motorsport.

Luna: My first experience in motorsport was when I went to watch my brother Lorenzo in go karts in Spain. That made me want to give it a go myself. I tried it out on a smaller track behind the main circuit and I just fell in love with it.

Doriane: My first experience was in 2012, when I first jumped into a mini kart. I remember being so excited for that day and when it finally happened, I was the happiest kid in the world!

Isla: My introduction to motorsport wasn't entirely traditional! I grew up on a dairy farm on the Isle of Lewis and was driving anything I could reach the pedals on from the age of 13. I loved being behind the wheel or using tools and so would race project cars I built in the local drag races. The atmosphere was always incredible, whatever the level.

How is the team helping your development in motorsport?

Luna: I joined the Mercedes Junior Programme after winning the IAME Euroseries in 2021, becoming the first woman to do so. Mercedes have supported me from there, in both the junior and OK categories.

Doriane: Joining the Mercedes Junior Programme is a fantastic opportunity this year to develop myself as a driver. Moving to single-seater racing in F1 Academy means a new chapter in my career and having the support of such prestigious team is a privilege. I will work hard to make the most out of it.

Isla: My job in the Dyno has exposed me to so many opportunities that have increased my understanding of our car and its systems. It's not only the technical knowledge I've acquired that has helped me be a better racing driver, but also the ability to concentrate under pressure and the determination to achieve goals.

Anna: The team has encouraged me to try new things to help guide where my career could go. They also encourage my racing and take a strong interest with my progress.

What are your future goals and ambitions in motorsport?

Doriane: Winning F1 Academy, then climbing the single-seater ladder and reaching F1 in the years to come.

Isla: I feel so lucky to have achieved what I have already in motorsport, and I still have a lot of fire in my belly to achieve more. I am very passionate about promoting women in motorsport and STEM. I hope that when people see my journey, it proves that you don't need to have a lot of money or start at a very young age. It doesn't matter how old you are or where you come from, if you are fit enough and fast enough, you can do it!

Anna: My aim is to transition my kart racing into single seaters and inspire the next generation of girls. Whilst continuing to develop my fantastic role at Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team.

Luna: My ambition is to make it to Formula One, and represent Mercedes on the grid.