Author Archives: Tanish Kavashee

Women Crush Wednesdays: Kate Dalton

Written by Tanishka Vashee, edited by Esmée Koppius

Kate Dalton is Aston Martin F1 team’s Head of Brand strategy. She has been a fan of motorsport since she was young but has experience in the world of luxury fashion marketing. Kate has had the experience of working with brands like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. 

One might think it’s unusual for someone who’s worked in luxury fashion to end up at a Formula one team, but her story is a testament to the age old saying that hard work does pay off. To add to the challenge, Kate took up the new role while the world battled the pandemic- unusual was the new usual. 

Kate used her strengths, is a keen observer and has made sure the team delivers what fans want. Brand strategy is the essence to commercial success of a team, she has found ways to ensure that despite the distance, there’s an emotional connection between fans and the team. 

She has secured partnerships with organisations like Racing Pride UK, emphasising on the importance of making the world of racing a more diverse and inclusive space. Kate has also always encouraged F1 fans to dream and work towards building a career in Formula One. 

In an interview with Females in Motorsport, she spoke about how as an F1 fan one has intuition that could be built into a marketing skill. One would know insight such as the routine, favourite teams of the other fans and what channels they use and consume, this intuition can be transformed into a skill.

Kate is a great role model to look up to, she shows young people that with hard work and good understanding of your skill set, you can certainly achieve what you dream of.

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F1 season 2022 announced to have 23 races

Written by Tanishka Vashee, edited by Esmée Koppius

The FIA has approved Formula One’s record breaking 23 race calendar. The 2022 season is set to start off on the 20th of March at Bahrain and end in November, with Abu Dhabi being the host. 

Miami will be hosting one of the two races in the USA, along with the controversial inclusion of Jeddah. China will once again be dropped from the calendar due to the ongoing pandemic conditions. It may be restored if the conditions allow. 

The president and CEO of Formula One, Stefano Domenicali, released a statement on behalf of the organisation, stating that 2022 is set to be an exciting season with the addition of new circuits and the regulation changes for closer racing. 

Jean Todt, FIA president added “The impressive 2022 FIA Formula One Championship calendar is the result of the great work made by Formula 1, led by Stefano Domenicali and his team, in strong synergy with the FIA.”

“Over the past two years, F1 has shown remarkable resilience. This is clearly demonstrated by the continued growth of the sport despite the important challenges of the pandemic.”

“The 23 Grands Prix in 2022 will be an exciting showcase for the all-new cars and I am looking forward to it.”

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Istanbul Inclement: the recap of the Turkish GP quali

Written by Tanishka Vashee, Edited by Esmée Koppius

The session started off with threats of showers, however the conditions were relatively dry. Read on as I tell you about the qualifying session for round 16 of 22 at Istanbul, Turkey.

Q1 started off with a queue in the pit lane and a series of spins. Mazepin settled for 20th, Kimi could only manage nineteenth. His teammate Antonio Giovinazzi couldn’t put in a better time either, settling for 18. The Williams duo saw Latifi take 17 while Russell made it to Q2. Talking about Q2 appearance, Mick Schumacher made his first (proper) appearance at Q2, qualifying 14! 

Unfortunately, recent Italian Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo didn’t make it to Q2 and could only grasp P16. Sainz, who is expected to start at the back of the grid owing to a penalty, made a short appearance in Q2. Lance took a stroll in the grass but pulled together to make it to Q3. Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel was at the cusp of Q3 but didn’t quite make it. Esteban Ocon will be starting 12th, George Russell 13th, Mick Schumacher 14th and Carlos (provisionally) 15th. 

The top 10 shootout started off with Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc being predicted to grab pole position. Hamilton did take pole, but will be awarded a ten place grid penalty due to taking a new ICE. This allows his teammate Bottas to secure pole. Without the penalties in action, it would have been a Mercedes front row lockout, followed by Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. A good day for the Alpha Tauri as their drivers Pierre Gasly took fourth and Yuki tenth. Red Bull’s Perez took seventh, Norris eighth and Stroll in ninth. 

With the penalties in play, the weather conditions for the weekend, this race at intercity Istanbul park is shaping to be interesting to say the least.

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What Formula 1 is Doing to Attract American Fans

Written by Morgan Holiday, Edited by Tanishka Vashee

Formula 1 has long been regarded as the top step of motorsport, the pinnacle of racing, the crown jewel of motorsport. And yet, so many average Americans have never even heard of this racing series, thinking of motorsport as purely NASCAR, and maybe Indycar. For many years, Formula 1 has struggled to gain an audience in the United States, but recently that has been changing. Thanks to many efforts by the sport, American interest in Formula 1 has been growing over the past couple of years. 

One of the reasons Formula 1 has struggled to attract new fans is because of the complicated nature of the sport. Between all the technical regulations and the complex driver and team dynamics, it’s not something you can just jump into with no information. And so, Formula 1 found a way to give prospective fans an easy way to get to know the characters and rules of the sport through the Netflix show Drive to Survive.

The currently three season long Netflix original show has played a huge part in attracting American fans to the sport. Since 2019, American viewership of Formula 1 has increased by 41%, and it’s clear that Drive to Survive has had a huge part to play in that increase. Currently Formula 1 averages 946,000 American viewers per race, with no real reason for such an increase other than the Netflix show. Drive to Survive, while criticised for its dramatization by hardcore fans, provides new viewers with the background information that they need to fully enjoy a Formula 1 race, and pulls them into the world with its exciting depiction of the world surrounding the sport.

Another reason that Formula 1 has struggled to gain traction in the U.S. is because the vast majority of its races take place in Europe, and the time difference means that all those races are being broadcast at any time from 1am to 9am, not ideal viewing times. America currently hosts one race on the Formula 1 calendar, at The Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

But coming in 2022, Formula 1 is adding a new race into the calendar, at a brand new circuit in Miami, Florida. The Miami Grand Prix has been put in place by Formula 1 as a calculated measure to get more Americans interested in the sport. Having a second Grand Prix in the United States, especially a place like Miami, a city that could attract fans from all around the country, will undoubtedly boost awareness and support of Formula 1.

Formula 1’s CEO, Stefano Domenicali has said “The USA is a key growth market for us, and we are greatly encouraged by our growing reach which will be further supported by this exciting second race.” The inaugural Miami Grand Prix is set to take place on May 8th, 2022.

Formula 1 has also expressed interest in having an American driver, as a part of gaining a larger U.S. following. American drivers have always been few and far between in Formula 1, in fact, only 19 American drivers have ever started more than 10 races in motorsport’s highest tier. Mario Andretti, one of America’s two world champions, was the last American to win a race, in 1978. Formula 1 hasn’t had a driver race under the American flag since 2015, when Alexander Rossi took part in five races for Marussia.

It’s undoubtedly true that Formula 1 would benefit from the raised interest that an American Formula 1 driver would bring. Domenicali has talked about the subject, saying “We are working with teams to try to understand what is really the possibility for American drivers to come to the attention of Formula One teams in the short term”. Unfortunately for American fans, having an American driver in Formula 1 in the near future does not look likely. While teams could look to Indycar for drivers like Colton Herta, the truth is that the driver market has been overflowing recently, with not many teams looking for new drivers outside their current pool. Formula 2, the main series for Formula 1 talent spotting, has no American drivers currently racing, although Formula 3 boasts four Americans: Juan Manuel Correa, Logan Sargeant, Kaylen Frederick, and Red Bull backed Jak Crawford. While it’s true that the near future of Formula 1 and American drivers doesn’t look promising, between some talent in the lower categories and Formula 1’s dedication to bringing in American fans, it’s looking like it won’t be terribly long before there is someone racing under the American flag once again.

It would be remiss to talk about America and Formula 1 without mentioning the Haas F1 team, America’s only team on the Formula 1 grid. Haas is also the youngest team on the grid, having only competed since 2016. Owned by the American Gene Haas, the team saw a decent amount of success in its first few years, but has been clearly struggling since. Set to finish dead last in the championship this year, they’re hardly the picture of patriotism Formula 1 wants to market to prospective American fans. 

Recently, there have been talks of new teams joining Formula 1; Audi, Porsche, and Volkswagen among the names being thrown into conversation. But there have also been whispers about Andretti Autosport entering Formula 1. Owned by the Andretti family and currently racing in seven different series including Indycar and Formula E, the American based team would certainly fit Formula 1’s agenda of attracting American fans. While Michael Andretti has stated that the team has no official plans to join Formula 1, it is certainly something they would be interested in in the future. Starting a Formula 1 team is no small undertaking, but should the Andretti group decide to test their luck, it seems likely that Formula 1 would jump at the opportunity to appeal even further to the United States audience.

With the highest tier of motorsport being almost unknown in such a large country as the United States, it’s clear to see why the people in charge have been putting such an effort to tap into the American audience. So far, they’ve had major success with their American aimed projects, and more U.S. related Formula 1 ventures seem imminent. 

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Woman Crush Wednesdays: Silvia Hoffer Frangipane

Written by Tanishka Vashee, edited by Esmée Koppius

If you’ve been watching Ferrari challenges on youtube for a while, Silvia is definitely a familiar face. Silvia Frangipane is the Head of Communications at Scuderia Ferrari. Her career in the field of PR in Formula One started in 1997, She joined Minardi as their Press officer. 

With a degree in architecture from Politecnico di Milano, Frangipane went on to work with Ettore Bugatti for six years. Followed by fulfilling the duties Ducati’s PR manager for a year and finally made her way to the paddock. After a year with Minardi, Silvia joined Williams and devoted her expertise to them all the way up until 2009. 

After a decade at Williams, she moved to Mclaren as the team’s Press Officer Manager. She was also incharge of Fernando Alonso’s PR when he debuted at Indy500 in 2017. Her next move came in 2019, she joined Scuderia Ferrari as their Head of Communications. 

The Maranello based team was infamous for its rather secretive and hostile approach to the media. With her knowledge, expertise and years of experience, she has managed to change the way Ferrari interacts and comes across the media- be it mainstream or the social media platforms. 

Silvia has spent 23 years in the field of PR and communications, she is definitely one of the most knowledgeable and well respected names in the paddock. People in and around the paddock regard her as one of the best in the profession. 

We at Divebomb admire her work and are awed by the benchmarks she has set in the world of Comms. The admiration and respect she has garnered is inspiring, we hope that her grit inspires young women and girls to step into the world of motorsport.

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[Opinion] Why fangirling is NOT a good idea

Written by Tanishka Vashee and Hafiz Akbar

Edited by Daniel Yi

On the 14th of August, an image broke the internet. More specifically, it broke F1 social media. To be exact, it was an image of Mclaren’s starboy Lando Norris slow dancing with a young woman. It might seem nothing out of the ordinary and sure, it’s just another photo of a pair of lovers dancing on the beach. But what’s creepy about this is the fact that the photo in question was intended for private eyes, not public.

The screengrab was taken off someone’s private account. Norris, nor the young woman whose face we couldn’t see, were supposed to have their time off the hustle and bustle of the Formula One grid and all the media attention. Yet, it took no time for so-called “fans” to find the young woman’s identity through one blurry photograph (or in this instance, screenshot) off the internet. Sure, it’d been okay if these so-called “fans” just acknowledged that yes, Lando Norris is just another human being himself and wants the things we want, such as a romantic relationship. But no, they professed that they felt “heartbroken” and some even resorted to sending hate messages to the poor young woman.

It was shameful and disgusting to watch.The images were made public without their consent and it makes no sense to send hate to either of them. This whole fiasco got us pondering the question: Dear fans, do you think you own them?

Being an F1 driver is demanding on and off the track. When they’re not training, they’re engaged in promotional activities. They’re basically under the spotlight, under public scrutiny every other hour. As a result, they’re trained by their PR officers on how to interact with mainstream media. 

But with the rise of social media, another problem arises. They are never really disconnected. Don’t get me wrong, it’s refreshing to see them connect to their fans so well and remain this accessible on a common platform. But because of this, the previously solid line between strictly professional work and private life is slowly, but surely, fading away. 

People believe they know and have a right to know everything about their favourite celebrities and athletes. This is where you draw the line. As an audience, we can only see aspects of them they want us to see, and no, we are NOT entitled to an insight into their life just because we adore them. 

It’s hard enough living your life knowing that those around you judge you. Now imagine millions of people wanting to look into your life and wanting to comment on everything you do. It’s unfair and out of proportion. They’re racing drivers, for God’s sake, not Love Island celebrities.

The same goes for all Formula One drivers. Praising their skillset and adoring them is one thing. Invading their personal lives down to the finest of details are another. Plus, we’re pretty sure you wouldn’t like having someone or a total stranger for that matter, peer into whatever you’re doing all the time. That’s just mentally draining.

They are humans, they have needs, desires and dreams that they don’t necessarily want to share with millions of people at any given time. It doesn’t help mainstream media outlets write pieces like “A long list of Lewis Hamilton’s ex-lovers.”, “Who is Charles Leclerc’s ex-girlfriend and why did he break up with her?”, “Daniel Ricciardo’s ex-girlfriend shockingly moves on with another race driver from NZ” and the recent very public coverage of the F1 drivers that are vacationing in Greece. They’re having a vacation, for God’s sake. I’m sure everyone’s got something better to do than stalk someone having a vacay with their loved one.

Look, the drivers are as human as we are, minus the physical advantage they might have over us average joes. They need rest as much as the next person and this summer break is the perfect chance for them to enjoy themselves without being highlighted under the spotlight. So we think it’s best if we just leave them to whatever the hell they are up to.

Dear fans, it is one thing to appreciate their skill set and a completely different thing to invade their lives. Let’s leave them alone when they expect to be left alone and not disturb or even trespass on what’s considered normal. With the summer break almost coming to an end, we hope that these sorts of incidents don’t repeat and we focus more on racing.

FORMULA 1 CONFIRMS CANCELLATION OF THE JAPANESE GRAND PRIX

After several days of speculation Formula 1 has officially confirmed that the Japanese Grand Prix has been cancelled. Organisers for the event have cited “organising complexities” in relation to COVID 19 situation Japan as chief reason.

Written by Andrew Lwanga, Edited by Tanishka Vashee

In spite of Japan having hosted The Summer Olympics, an increase in the spread of coronavirus infections has resulted in declaration of the state of emergency in several parts of the country. 

With cancellation of the event slated to take place on the 10th of October it seems that the optimistic record setting 23 race calendar will not be achieved. Formula 1 have stated however that they’re currently working on a revised calendar with rumours suggesting a race in Qatar at Losail circuit, a race at the  Dubai Autodrome or a return to Bahrain. 

In statement released to the press Formula 1 have said

 “Following ongoing discussions with the promoter and authorities in Japan the decision has been taken by the Japanese government to cancel the race this season due to ongoing complexities of the pandemic in the country.

“Formula 1 is now working on the details of the revised calendar and will announce the final details in the coming weeks.

“Formula 1 has proven this year, and in 2020, that we can adapt and find solutions to the ongoing uncertainties and is excited by the level of interest in locations to host Formula 1 events this year and beyond.”

WOMAN CRUSH WEDNESDAYS: SOPHIE KUMPEN, More than Max’s mum

Discussions about Max Verstappen have been a trending topic for a while, and rightfully so! After six years in the sport, the young Dutchman finally seems to be within reach of a World Championship. Most people say that the talent and passion for racing are in his blood, for his Father Jos Verstappen was Formula One driver. 

Written by Tanishka Vashee, Edited by Bruna Brito

Which is true, racing is in his blood! Not only Jos but his mother, Sophie Kumpen too had a successful racing career.

Sophie hails from Hasselt, Belgium. She grew up watching her uncle Paul Kumpen compete in Rally. In an interview, she talked about all the sports and hobbies she tried out, including ballet but was instantly ruled out as being too wild for the graceful discipline. Kumpen discovered her talent and passion in karting at the age of 10, she said that the speed brought her a lot of thrill.

In 1991, at the age of 16, she was considered a great talent, finishing 9th in the Formula A World Championship. The following year, she raced in the Karting World Championship; she finished 26th and then 17th in 1994.

In 1995, she won a race for the Andrea Margutti Trophy, where she beat former F1 drivers like Jarno Trulli and Allen Simonsen. This was also the year Jenson Button became her teammate! The two of them were really competitive, often racing against each other. 

He wasn’t the only renowned name in today’s paddock she has competed against, Christian Horner has raced her in the 1989 junior karting world championship. Both Horner and Button speak very highly of her and believe she possessed great talent. 

While her success in Karting proved her mettle, life had other plans for her. Sophie married Jos Verstappen in 1996, the following year the couple welcomed their first child Max and then the next year Victoria. 

Sophie was testing cars and Jos was racing in F1, juggling racing, looking after the children, and supporting Jos in his career became a struggle. She ended her racing career to raise her children and support Jos. 

Sophie has spoken about her desire to race in F1 and how it did not happen, she had to give up on her dream. However, seeing her son do what she dreamed of doing and making his own mark in the sport brings her a lot of joy. 

Women in motorsport have been garnering a lot of attention in recent years, the popularity of motorsports involving women too is headed towards an all-time high. It is important we celebrate the careers of women like Sophie, who have been challenging the norm for more opportunities for women in the world of racing. 

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Dan Ticktum gets booted from Williams development driver role and Academy

Written by: Tanishka Vashee. Edited by: Daniel Yi

Dan Ticktum, infamous for his antics yet again finds himself in the middle of a messy situation. This hasn’t been the first time the young Brit finds himself in this position.

As part of the Williams team, Ticktum would put in laps on the simulator to help the team develop their car. Williams confirmed with F1.com that he had been released from the team but the reasons remain unclear.

It is speculated that Ticktum was probably shown the door for his words and behaviour on a recent Twitch stream. He could be heard speaking poorly about Williams driver Nicholas Latifi while also slandering Nico Rosberg. Ticktum has released a statement on Instagram saying that he was released earlier last week and the public announcement was not made until recently.

The 22-year-old was previously dropped from the Red Bull Junior Team in 2019. Being let go by Williams comes as little to no surprise as the young man has always been questioned for his controversial on and off-track actions. We await further developments. 

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WSERIES – THE 2021 GUIDE

Written by Bruna Brito, edited by Tanishka Vashee

What ‘s W Series?

Defined as a “ free-to-enter championship, launched in October 2018, that provides equal opportunities for women and eliminates the financial barriers that have historically prevented them from progressing to the upper echelons of motorsport.” The mission is to provide acceptance that female and male racing drivers can compete with one another on equal terms, when given the same opportunities.

Calendar

After the start of the pandemic, the 2020 championship was cancelled, so now for 2021, we will have 8 rounds, starting with a double in the Red Bull Ring, with Alice Powell, as the very first winner of the season,and Jamie Chadwick in the second round. Followed by a win for Alice Powell again, in Silverstone.

This weekend we will have the return of the competition, in Hungaroring, in the city of Budapest for race number four of the season. The next ones, will be Spa- Framcorchamps, as the same weekend as F1, a favourite for many W Series drivers then Zandvoort, alongside Formula 1 again,  in September, CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS , first-ever race outside of Europe.

Finishing the season in Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez, on 29 and 30th of October.

Drivers

Abbie Eaton – Escurie W

29 years old – British

She started at age 15 in regional competition as a British GT and in 2018 started as a test driver for the Amazon ’s The Grand Tour series.

Abbi Pulling – Puma W Series

18 years old – British

One of the youngest in the category, she made her debut at the race in Silverstone this year and finished in 8th place. Abbi is being mentored by Alice Powell, who is also a art of the W Series! She has competed in Ginetta Juniors, GT5, British F4 and Formula Renault.

Alice Powell – Racing X

28 years old – British

She was the youngest Formula Renault UK driver and the first woman to win the championship. The first woman to score in GP3. She participated in the 2020 season of Formula E as well as the W Series. She won the first race of that year in the W Series.

Ayla Agren – M.Forbes Motosports

27 years old – Norwegian

She raced the Formula Ford-spec F1600 and Indy. After a few years, she was forced to stop her career due to lack of funding, currently, in addition to the W Series, she is a spotter for the Indy 500. This is the first time she will be participating in the series.

Beitske Viesser – M.Forbes Motosports

26 years old – Dutch

She raced in Formula Renault 3.5 and the European Le Mans Series where she was part of the only all-female team to race as Le Mans 24h.

Belen Garcia – Scuderia W

27 years old – Spanish

She started her career relatively late compared to other drivers, at age 15, when she got her chance in Kart. She raced for Spanish F4 winning the Women’s F4 Championship. This is her first year at the W Series.

Bruna Tomasseli – Veloce Racing

23 years old – Brazilian

She raced in the Brazilian Formula Jr. and in the South American F4. She moved to the US where she ran a USF2000 National Championship. An avid Ferrari fan, a Tifosa if you will. 

Emma Kimilainen – Ecurie W

31 years old – Finnish

She started in Kart at age 3, that is, she learned to drive before speaking, and competed in the Formula Masters Series and Formula Palmer Audi. For financial reasons she stayed away from the tracks for 4 years.

Fabienne Wohlwend – Bunker Racing

23 years old –  Liechtensteiner 

 Her family put the whole house on wheels so the girl could live her dreams, she participated in the Italian F4, Audi TT Cup and European Ferrari Challenge.

Irina Sidorkova – Academy

18 years old – Russian

Dubbed the baby of W Series, she competed in several national categories. She also raced F4 in Russia and Spain, took second place in the last race, a great performance for a rookie.

Jamie Chadwick – Veloce Racing

24 years old – British

The 2019 W Series champion. She was also the first woman to win a British GT and a British BRDC F3. In 2020 she was announced as a development driver in F1 by the Williams team.

Jessica Hawkins – Racing X

26 years old – British

At age 12 she started in British Karting and raced in several categories after that. Jessica is also a stunt driver, has recorded films such as Fast and Furious and 007. She is also part of the Aston Martin F1 team as an ambassador.

Marta Garcia – Puma W Series Team

20 years old – Spanish

She started karting at the age of 6, won the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy and the Trofeo delle Industrie. She took a good amount of victories in the first ever edition of W Series an finished fourth in the standings.

Miki Koyama – Sirin Racing

23 years old – Japanese

Miki had to work hard to get into motorsport. She has been working since she was a teenager to make her racing career a reality. She raced in Japanese F4, and won 3 years in a row in the Kyojo Cup.

Nerea Marti – Academy

19 years old – Spanish

Another baby! She was the first woman to win the Valencia Community Karting Championship in 2018. She also raced in the Rotax España Series and the Spanish F4.

Sabré Cook – Bunker Racing

27 years old – American

She started small in the kart and at the age of 13, the same year she had already taken the title of TAG Junior. She was the first woman to win the SKUSA Pro Tour National Championship.

Sarah Moore – Scuderia W

27 years old – British

She raced and won titles at the Ginetta Junior Championship and several other categories in the UK. Sarah plays a very important role for the LGBTQ+ community within motorsport.

Vittoria Piria – Sirin Racing

27 years old – Italian

 Vicky made history by being the first woman to race in GP3, she also raced in Euro F3 and other categories. She has been nicknamed the busiest W Series driver, for she makes a lot of television appearances and is Ferrari’s first ever driving instructor. 

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