“I can’t wait to get back out in the car,” Sarah Moore tells Females in Motorsport. “I’m really looking forward to it.”
And, Sarah has great reason to be excited.
This weekend, the 25-year-old is heading to Hockenheim to compete in the inaugural round of the all-female W Series. She describes it as the “biggest opportunity in her career to date” and hopes that it’ll take her to the “next level of professional racing”.
Sarah grew up with racing being engraved in her everyday life with her three brothers and sister all involved in motorsport. Naturally, Sarah took to racing at an early age by starting out racing karts. She says herself that racing feels normal to her as she was “born into it”.
“I’m lucky enough to have grown up within a racing family on an airfield with a karting Circuit and a race team,” she says. “So it was easy for me really, it’s all I knew growing up. It’s in my blood!”
After karting, Sarah climbed the ranks to become the Ginetta Junior champion in 2009. This success was recognised in the industry, and she was named Autosport’s young driver of the year.
Fast-forward to the present day, and ahead of the W Series selection process, Sarah hadn’t set foot in a single-seater formula car since 2011.
“To get back in a formula car is so important for me to gain knowledge and further my driving skills to help achieve my goals and dreams,” she says. “I’d say the F3 cars we’re lucky enough to be racing is probably the best car I’ve driven to date. I’m just learning more and more about the car and improving my driving with every lap.”
The W Series drivers will all compete in identical Tatuus Formula 3 cars, to allow an equal playing field from the get go.
Over 100 women applied for the first season of the series, and now only 18 successful competitors remain. Sarah is one of five British drivers to have made it to the starting grid, something she sees as a representation of how strong the talent from the UK is.
“Just to be part of the 18 chosen to be on the grid is an amazing achievement for myself, but it also opened our eyes as to how much more work we need to be putting in,” she says. “For all five Brits to get through just goes to show how strong our drivers from the UK are on track. It’s definitely going to make for an interesting battle at some point!”
With the weekend fast approaching, Sarah is targeting a top eight finish in the series’ first outing.
Supporting the DTM calendar, the W Series will also be broadcast live on Channel 4 throughout its racing year. Viewers will also be able to catch the action on demand.
“My main focus going into the first race weekend is to finish inside the top eight, but as with all drivers our ultimate aim is to win so I will always be giving it my all,” she says. “A win at this level would definitely be the highlight of my career, but as always it’s all about consistency.”
In terms of her main competition, Sarah is adamant that there isn’t one particular person at this stage.
“All the drivers on the grid are there for a reason, they are all fantastic drivers and I think it’s going to be some really good, close racing,” she says. “I’m looking forward to the lights out on the first race!”
And, thankfully, Sarah won’t have to wait much longer. The first qualifying of the W Series season will get underway on Sunday at 10:55 (BTS).
Tatiana Calderon is breaking down gender barriers in motorsport, with the Colombian-born racer holding the test driver role for Alfa Romeo Racing Formula 1 team.
Recently, it was announced that she would drive in Formula 2 this season, becoming the first woman to line-up in the series’ history. Competing with BWT Arden, Tatiana takes the step up from GP3.
In addition, in October of last year she made history by becoming the first female Latin American driver to drive a Formula 1 car.
She had her first taste of F1 machinery with Sauber at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City in a promotional event. Two months later, she had another outing at Fiorano in a two-day test event.
“I’ve always dreamt of racing in F2 because it’s so competitive,” Tatiana says. “The races are sometimes even better than F1 because you never know who’s going to win.
“It took a while to get the budget together and to get the team in place. I’m really happy that I managed to secure a seat with BWT Arden, and I look forward to the start of the season.”
During her time in GP3, Tatiana admits things didn’t always go her way and she has been open about the F2 car suiting her driving style more.
For 2019, the 26-year-old will partner the reigning GP3 champion – Antoine Hubert. He is someone that Tatiana is keen to learn from, despite having never been coupled with a driver who has “those credentials”.
“I like the extra power,” she says. “What we have is 300 more horsepower than in GP3 and we have carbon brakes. I like to push the engine a little bit more, and with the brakes I’m quite good. I really look forward to my first race to really be able to confirm if it suits me better.”
“There are many drivers who have been there for a while, so that makes it obviously more difficult,” she says. “There’s also a lot of people coming from GP3, so the level will be high.”
She knows that it won’t be an easy task ahead of her, but she’s ready for the challenge.
“The teams here are very professional so everything is going to be tighter,” she says. “With the pit stops and the strategy, it’s going to be a tough year. I’m expecting it to be challenging, but I can learn and benefit from it quite a lot.”
Ultimately, she sees F2 as a chance to continue progressing onto her goal “a seat in F1”.
She hopes that she’ll be “regularly scoring points” this year and sets that as an important objective in what she labels as her most important year to date.
“Every year you think so but this is a very important year with step up to F2 and keeping my relationship with Alfa Romeo racing – that really means a lot to me,” she says. “I hope that I can pull it together and show that I deserve to get more chances in the future.
“The team appointed me as the driver because they wanted me in that role.”
Tatiana also broke into Formula E towards the end of last year, testing with DS Techeetah in the post-Ad Diriyah E-Prix in-season test.
“There’s nothing similar to a Formula E car,” she says. “You don’t have that much downforce. The power is very instant because they’re electric cars and it’s a lot more complex than what I imagined. There’s a lot you have to do as a driver to be competitive in one of those cars.”
She recalls being surprised by how difficult the Formula E car was to drive, but she will not rule out the series of her career.
“My dream is to race in F1, but I think Formula E is very interesting,” she says. “They have great drivers, really good engineers, and it’s developing. It’s definitely something to look at for the future.”
Like any driver, she has received her fair share of criticism. Tatiana, however, insists that she is in her position because of her talent.
“If you are in F1, it’s not because of your gender but because of your performance,” she says. “Fred Vasseur trusts me and he’s giving me the opportunity because I’ve responded. I’m there because I’m capable of doing the job.”
She also admits that the W Series approached her and invited her to apply for a seat in the all-new women-only championship. Tatiana declined because her career is “going in a different way”.
“Throughout my whole career I’ve always competed against the boys and against the best,” she says. “I’ve never thought that I couldn’t beat them or that I couldn’t be at the highest level. It would’ve been a step back in my career.
“It’s a privilege and an honor to be showing girls and boys what you can achieve if you want something and if you find your passion.”
Jess Shanahan is the ultimate definition of a female boss. At the age of just 30, she’s run magazines, edited several blogs, ran a successful racing team and – to top it all off – created a brand that is going from strength to strength.
Racing Mentor is a tool that is designed to help people from all backgrounds of motorsport. Whether you’re a budding PR or wanting help with sponsorship, Jess draws on her own experience to deliver you results.
Having gone from writing books at a very young age for fun, Jess now has a work of her very own published.
“I wanted to give drivers a more well-rounded view on what it takes to get sponsorship,” Jess tells Females in Motorsport. “It’s not just about sending a really pretty proposal document to a business that‘s relevant to what you’re into; it’s about building a profile for yourself and creating a status as an influencer.”
‘Get Paid To Race’ is the one-stop guide to become the best marketable racing driver you can become.
“The books starts by showing a driver how to build their profile – mainly by using social media and press coverage,” Jess says. “It then helps you to establish your niche and explains how to develop that. The book then goes into how to identify your sponsors and how to pitch to them.
“It also looks at how to maintain a sponsor, so you can hold onto them so they grow with you. The whole idea is to build such a big brand for yourself so companies eventually come to you.”
With all of her experience working in motorsport media, Jess understands the importance of getting the sponsorship process right. It’s not just about sending a well-designed proposal document; you have to build a reputable brand for yourself.
“When you take that proposal document to someone, they already know who you are, they’re already rooting for you, and they already think that you can do great things for their business,” Jess says. “It’s about teaching racing drivers the same business skills they may use if they were trying to sell a product.”
Racing Mentor was founded just over two years ago with one goal in mind: to help people become the most successful versions of themselves. It all started when Jess was running Turn Eight Racing. She had drivers approaching her asking if she could help them source sponsorship. Having found success for a few people, Jess realised that she couldn’t help everyone.
“I set out to create something that would help more people and teach them the business skills needed for them to pick up that sponsorship,” Jess says. “I just want to have more people think like businesses, get sponsorship, and get on track.”
As Racing Mentor blossoms, Jess has ambitions to run another racing team in the future.
“I want to maybe dip into that in 2019, and then do something bigger the following year,” she says. “I have a big vision of running a multi-car race team where I can subsidise talented drivers with the sponsorship that I’ve brought in and teach them to do the same.
“When they get to the level of where they need to bring in big sponsorship, they’re able to do that. It needs to be a process of the driver looking for sponsorship – however large – and I want the team to be able to do that.”
Jess understands that this is a big project but knows that it could be very successful.
“In the first instance, it would be at a grassroots level to test the concept and bring some sponsorship onboard,” she explains. “From there, we can maybe gain a Racing Mentor foothold higher up the ladder and keep on climbing. It’ll definitely be a progression rather than an all at once thing. I love the idea of the drivers progressing through the ranks and teaching them as they go.”
And the championship she’d like to run a team in? Well, the Citroen C1 series has caught her attention.
“The grids are massive and the cars are cool,” she says. “The Mazda championships generate good racing too. The next year coming is going to be a big research year with me working out what works best with my audience and the drivers.”
Jess is also very knowledgeable when it comes to social media. She’s utilised her own expertise to make sure people in the industry are making the most out of the likes of Twitter.
“You need to get excited about using social media,” Jess says. “So if you only have time for one, then make the most of it and maximise your activity. If a driver knows that their target market is based on Twitter, then you should try there. It all depends on what works for you and how you can utilise each platform.”
While it may sound daunting at first, motorsport is renowned for being a tough industry. That’s why Jess thinks that you should never give up on your dreams.
“Motorsport is an incredibly competitive world, although there are avenues out there that people don’t necessarily look at,” she says. “If there’s a series you want to aim for, never give up and never let anyone tell you no.”
Whatever the future holds, Jess just wants to keep on reading the success stories that have happened.
“It’s amazing that the book is helping people and I can’t wait to see what happens next,” Jess says. “I started this because I wanted to see people succeed. I want to share my knowledge to help people. It’s lovely that I’ve been able to turn it into a business, but the best thing is reading the feedback.”
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky’s road to success has been full of twists and turns. After a difficult couple of years, a last-minute drive in the 2018 Scandinavian Touring Car Championship – STCC – saw the Swedish driver bounce back. With a race win this season and a top 10 championship finish, Mikaela is more determined than ever to achieve her goals while maintaining a happy and healthy state of mind.
Despite being from a motorsport-orientated family with both of her parents, her grandfather and brother all drivers, Mikaela recalls having no interest in racing when she was growing up. In fact, she “resented it”.
“I didn’t want to go with my brother to the karting races he had or go to the rally in the town where I grew up in Sweden,” she says.
However, this all changed when her brother went to sell his kart.
“As his little sister, I was used to getting his old stuff,” she says. “I remember sitting at the table saying “hey, I should get the kart!” – I don’t know why I said it, but I know that I protested to get it. In the end I got it and went karting. I also liked it, after all!
“I was never pushed or forced to start motorsport, so the passion that I have for it has been founded by me. That’s important.”
Since discovering that she was fast in a kart, Mikaela decided to follow the path that led her to touring cars. While it wasn’t an easy decision for her to make, she felt the cost involved in single-seaters was too high.
“It was quite obvious for me as I knew that if I wanted to go racing I would have to finance it myself with sponsors,” she says. “Looking at the prices in single-seaters going all the way up to being a paid driver is huge. Touring cars are expensive, but it’s not on the same level in my eyes.”
2018 has seen Mikaela flourish with PWR Racing. With one retirement out of 12 starts, she has proven her ability to be consistently quick under race conditions. To top it all off, she won the second race at Sweden’s most prestigious track – Karlskoga Motorstadion.
“It’s been my best season to date,” she says. “I wasn’t certain that I was going to race this year and it really was a last-minute call that I would be the fourth car in the team. Up until March, the plans were all up in the air. I’d had two tough years previously, and I just wanted to have some fun this year. If I didn’t enjoy it, I knew that I would stop at the end of 2018.
“I had a fantastic time with my team and we worked with a step-by-step plan for each weekend. I wanted to finish in the top 10 and I finished 10th overall. I do wish that it would’ve been higher. I never dreamed of a win, though.”
After months of uncertainty, Mikaela’s win has been made official. After the race back in August, an appeal was made by another team about the exhaust system on her PWR car. Two weeks ago, the appeal was dropped and Mikaela’s win stands.
“I knew from the start that I deserved that win,” she says. “There was nothing wrong with the exhaust system and I knew that there was no advantage to be gained from it. From my side, I knew that on that day and in that race, I was the quickest. I had the most consistent laps and I didn’t make any mistakes – I had a great race. I’ve always seen myself as a winner in that round, despite what the ruling could’ve said. Now it’s all finalised, it’s relieving and I’m happy that I have the win back.”
Although nothing is confirmed for 2019, Mikaela is adamant that she will be back out racing again, with the end goal of making it to the World Touring Car Championship – WTCR – when the cars make the switch to electric powered engines.
“My goal is to continue in the STCC with PWR,” Mikaela says. “In the future, I want to go into the WTCR when they make their switch to electric cars.
“They will be different as they will be rear-wheel driven, but if I continue with PWR then they know what I’m like as a person and how I work so they will support me. If we get a plan together then I’m 100 percent certain that we’ll make it.”
Mikaela headed to Spain a couple of months ago to take part in the first FOA women drivers assessment programme test.
Ran by the FIA Women in Motorsport initiative, Mikaela tested two types of machinery, including a single seater. Accompanying her were 14 other drivers, including Tatiana Calderon, Jamie Chadwick and Christina Neilson.
“I loved how supportive the other girls were,” she says. “We had lots of chats about our experiences as we’re all in different forms of racing and it’s not that often that we’re able to talk to each other. A few of my friends back home try their best to understand what my life is like, but they never get the full picture. It was fun to be able to discuss racing with other girls and exchange our different experiences.”
Mikaela also maintains the importance of programmes that the FIA is working on in the bid to try and get more females involved in motorsport.
“The work that they’re doing – in particular the Girls on Track – to get more females into motorsport is so good,” Mikaela says. “I always get asked why there aren’t more girls in motorsport, and media campaigns and initiatives have a big impact. They show that women can be in motorsport and we can be as good as and if not better than the boys.”
However, Mikaela’s opinion is more divided when it comes to the new female-only W Series that will take to the track next year.
“It’s a good way for women to get into motorsport if you don’t have the budget or means to get into a mixed series,” she says. “You can show your potential in a single seater too.
“In my opinion, it won’t solve the problem of getting a female F1 driver. There’s so much more to racing than just winning one race and one championship. That’ll take you one step closer but that isn’t necessarily enough. You need to physically prepare for a big series and you need the full package, equipped with a good mentality and the right contacts.”
2016 and 2017 were difficult periods for Mikaela, and she isn’t afraid to admit it. A constant source of pressure meant that racing became too much and a step back was needed. However, the 25 year-old has learnt from her past experiences to ensure her mental state is on par with her physical.
“I lost myself during those two difficult years,” she says. “Things got very big in such a short amount of time. I got lots of partners and it all got incredibly serious. It got too much for me to be able to handle. When I got stressed, I lost the joy of what I did. Like in all disciplines, you need the time to rest – I didn’t have this. I was constantly on the go. I’m a lot stronger now and, more importantly, I’m a lot happier.”
Her journey means that she knows motorsport isn’t always an easy ride and, despite the difficult times, she doesn’t want people to “feel sorry” for her and instead wants people to learn that it’s okay to “lose sight of your passion”.
“The road to success isn’t the same for everyone,” she says. “For some people, just having motorsport all of the time is their route. I learnt that this method wasn’t mine as it didn’t work out. For me to succeed, I need the balance and to have down time with friends and family. It’s okay to have a different way of living your life within motorsport. The same method doesn’t work for all of us.”
Now, Mikaela is a member of the Red Bull Family and they work together as a partnership. She speaks highly of them, and describes Red Bull and her team PWR as being a family.
“With Red Bull and my team, it feels like they’re my family,” she says. “I enjoy coming into each race weekend or event because I can be myself. I feel so comfortable. It’s vital to me to have fun otherwise I won’t produce the results. It’s all about balance.
“When I was really down last Autumn, I didn’t think that Red Bull would continue their partnership with me. They told me that they believed in me and my strength and talent. It was Red Bull and PWR who kept me going in those times. Red Bull are doing some amazing things that are really out there. If you have a crazy idea, they listen. They may change some things but they’ll always try and make it happen.”
As her plans for next year get finalised, we look forward to cheering her on!
“I love driving a car as fast as possible on a closed road with no oncoming traffic or distractions – there’s no feeling quite like it!” Emma Gilmour, one of the world’s fastest female rally drivers, tells us.
“Add into the challenge of gravel and slippery surfaces and the feeling of dancing a car through acceleration and braking is unbeatable…”
New Zealand-born Emma Gilmour made her rally debut in 2002 at the Targa Bambina. Since then, she has been impressing with her skill and determination to take on some of the toughest rally stages in the world.
Through competing in FIA (the International Governing body for Motorsport) sanctioned events like the Asia Pacific Rally Championship, she has been able to net some excellent results while running her very own car dealership.
In 2009, she finished second in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship and has been recognised as the ‘top female rally driver’ at World Rally Championship events.
“I started co-driving for my sister, and then I finally had a go at driving and was hooked,” she says.”I think people are still surprised when they find out my passion. I think it’s regarded as a dangerous sport, but the horse riding I did before motorsport is much more dangerous.
“Our cars are built very safe and we take a lot of safety precautions. Driving every day is probably more risky!”
Emma has lots of brilliant motorsport memories and she has so “too many great rallies to choose from”. However, the WRC Finland will always hold a place close to her heart for “it’s truly special because of the nature of the roads and the passionate spectators”.
She competed in the Finnish event in 2006, where her and Claire Mole won stages in the Ford Fiesta – it was also the first event that they had ever competed in together.
“It was a very special event and I really hope to compete there again in the future,” she says.
The rally driver also regards desert racing as a favourite of hers, especially competing in Qatar, a place far from her home on the other side of the world.
“Desert racing in Qatar is has to be a highlight,” she says. “It was hugely challenging and so different to what I normally do. I can’t not mention doing the X Games in America as part of the Red Bull Global Rallycross series as a fantastic moment too. It was also hugely special.”
But, like with all sports, rallying can have a downside too. The engineering that goes into the cars is complex and a simple fault can spell out disaster for a competitor.
“Having to rely on a mechanical object to show your true ability is tough,” she says. “It can be so heartbreaking to be having a great event and then for something to break on your car.”
Emma also points out that the smallest of mistakes can lead to big repercussions, as you can pay a “big price for making a tiny error”.
Aside from this, Emma is adamant that women can be as competitive as men when it comes to rallying – Emma herself is a great example of this. “We need more women starting out in motorsport,” she says.
Despite being in the rallying game for over a decade and a half, she’s certain that there’ll be lots more motorsport adventures to come.
“I still want to compete in the WRC again – ideally in an R5 car,” she says. “I know I am a much better driver than the last time I competed in the WRC.”
This year she has been one of only two women competing in the New Zealand Rally Championship, where she is currently sixth in the standings with one weekend to go.
Amna Al Qubaisi. This name be beginning to sound familiar, for a number of reason.
Not only is the 18-year-old making a name for herself on the race track, but Amna holds the accolade of breaking down stereotypes as the first female competitive driver from the United Arab Emirates.
Currently, Amna races in the prestigious Italian Formula 4 Championship for the prestigious Prema Powerteam. This is her first championship in racing cars after karting and she is already racking up impressive results.
At the latest round at the infamous Monza, Amna secured a P16 and a P17 after starting 27th on the grid in both races, showing her speed and ability to overtake.
Females in Motorsport caught up with her to see how she was fairing in her first season of cars and where her drive comes from.
Today’s race wasn’t too bad. Race 2 from P27 – P16 Race 3 from P27 – P17 Overall I enjoyed driving in Monza for the first time 💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/fXLjqsG5ur
Amna, how are you preparing for the rest of the season?
Unfortunately, I didn’t race at Paul Ricard, however I’m always ready. I do lots of training in the gym. Then there’s some testing at my home track (Yas Marina Circuit) to keep the rhythm and the feeling of the car fresh in my mind.
Before taking to the Italian F4 grid, Amna raced in the second round of the UAE X30 category Seniors and in the Dubai O-Plate category Shifters finishing in third and fifth position in the races.
The 2016/17 season saw Amna competing in various countries and in various categories of karting: Italy, Arab Emirates and Germany. Amna scored a spectacular podium in the 5th round of IAME X30 and in 11th round of UAE RMC in Yas Marina Northern Circuit.
Back to cars, Andria was her first round competing in a single-seater.
Adria was your first race in the Italian series. You had a 12th and a 16th place finish with over 26 cars on the grid, how did you find the weekend?
The race weekend was very good since I had the pace and I was forth in Rookies and second before I ran out into the run off area at a fast corner. However, I was on the podium too. It wasn’t expected, but Adria’s results gave me an extra boost, experience and confidence for the next one.
You come from karting: how it’s been difficult to drive a kart, then a racing car?
Comparing the kart to the car, it took me a while to adapt to the car, because it’s a whole new world. Moving up from karting to single seater is a natural shift in motorsport and I’m enjoying every moment behind the Formula 4 wheel.
Why did you choose an Italian championship as your first car experience? You are driving for Prema PowerTeam: how did the agreement come about?
Choosing the Italian championship was a big decision, since it has the biggest grid, but it came naturally. Italian F4 visits some of the most prestigious circuits, so it’s brilliant to race there.
Abu Dhabi Racing and Kaspersky Lab have a long term partnership and I would like here to thank Kaspersky Lab for giving me the opportunity to make it from karting into Formula 4. Prema is the best team in the championship and I am so blessed and honored to have the chance to drive for the team.
Although you’re the only girl in the championship, what is the relationship like with your male colleagues?
It’s quite normal to be fair and I haven’t been treated differently. We get along very well and I’ve got used to being the only girl in a race track.
You’re also the first female driver of your country: how do you feel about that?
It’s never happened before so I feel so proud and I’m completely satisfied and happy to make this step as the first and hopefully not the last.
They said "you drive like a girl" I said "if you drive a little faster, you can too"
It’s all come from my dad, supporting him in his races, hearing him talk about different race tracks around the globe and meeting different drivers was a complete awe inspiring to me. Now I live and breathe it!
Final question for you, what is the goal for this season?
The goal is to always keep the pace since it’s my first time and to always finish in a good position.
“I’ve loved motorsport since I was a child,” says Suzi Perry, reminiscing on how her passion first evolved. “It was always on at the weekends at home and I loved it. The passion for getting involved came in my early twenties when I took my bike license and my friends at the time were all bikers.”
Suzi Perry is a household name as far as presenting motorsports go. Her impeccable knowledge and love for all things two and four wheeled has enabled her to work in the MotoGP and Formula 1 paddocks for well over a decade.
“We used to go to British Superbike races and we used to watch it obsessively on TV,” she says. “It became ‘why don’t we do this’ and ‘why don’t we do that ‘and my friends would say ‘why don’t you go on television and do it yourself!’.”
And that is how it happened. Having discovered this immense love, Suzi acted on it and made a phone call of a lifetime. “I called Sky, who at the time had the rights to the World Superbike Championship,” she says. “I called them for a chat, ended up going in and walked out with a reporter’s job in 1997. It was an extraordinary start to a career!”
Like anyone who has landed their dream job, Suzi remembers the immense feeling of joy and excitement.
“I remember walking out of the Sky offices in Middlesex and I just couldn’t wait to get on the phone and ring my parents,” she says. “I was beside myself with ecstasy. I just couldn’t believe that they’d offered me a job and that I would be working with bikes and on television. It was like someone had just told me that I’d won the lottery, but it was better than that. It’s gone on for 22 plus years.”
Since then, Suzi’s career has gone from strength to strength and even meant her hosting the most popular motorsport in the world for BBC 1.
“The moment I got a call asking me to do F1 was another defining moment,” she says. “It’s an enduring love that will never go away. It’s hard work, bloody hard work, but I love it. A lot of energy and work goes into a broadcast, despite talking about something you love.”
Although Suzi has worked in motorsport for over 22 years, the rush of excitement never disappears and that is the “beauty of live sport”, according to the presenter .
“It’s a combination of, I wouldn’t say nerves because I’ve done it for a long time, but there’s certainly excitement before and few deep breaths before the ‘hello and welcome’,” she says. “It’s great to have that buzz. I never turn up thinking ‘oh gosh, here we go again’. It’s always my life.”
One of the highlights for Suzi now is presenting with friends, which is a dream scenario for most people
“I’m at a stage where I’m working with my friends, the guys that I interviewed twenty years ago,” she says. “It’s heaven, it really is. No one has an agenda. I can honestly say that I’m in a team that pulls together, instead of one that pulls apart.”
But, of course, there is always the tricky moments live on air. As Suzi explains, live broadcasts rarely run as planned despite rehearsal.
“You can be saying hello and welcome and the whole show changes in your ear,” she says. “Sometimes you haven’t even got to the end of your sentence and something has happened. That’s the beauty of live sport.”
Suzi compares her job to news broadcasting, because of its ever changing nature: “There’s nothing like doing live sport, except, now this might sound strange, but news broadcasting. You have to be instinctive and have your wits completely about you and be a hundred percent. You try to be completely switched on all of the time when you’re broadcasting because anything can happen.”
One of the most spectacular MotoGP races to date was in Argentina which took place in April. Although Suzi wasn’t there that weekend, she watched it unfold on television. Races this that are the ones where you bring all of your previous knowledge together to make a seamless broadcast for the viewers at home.
“It was something you don’t see very often, so you have to pull on all of your knowledge and wisdom,” she says. “As a presenter it’s not your job to give opinion, it’s your job to ask the right questions to your experts who are standing next to you. In some ways, it doesn’t matter what you feel, you just have to contain the passion in those situations and ask the right questions. That can be tricky sometimes, but when you’re surrounded by the right people, it’s good. It’s a wonderful job and I love it, but there are times when it’s quite difficult. “