Ambition and Me
This #WomenInMotorsportMonth's theme was ambition, but I haven’t really thought about ambition in terms of myself enough this month. I wanted this month to be about reflecting on ourselves as well as the sport on a wider level, so I’m going to do that today.
Today, I went to the Aston Martin factory. The shine has dulled the tiniest bit now I’ve been and done it, but I think I need to sit and drink it in. If I said this was beyond my wildest imaginations when I started this month, I’d be totally lying. My ambition for this project was huge because my ambition for myself and the change I can make was huge. I dreamed of teams picking this up and hosting events and putting it on social media, so this is that. But that was when I was 16 and new to F1 and growing exponentially. I felt a bit like a fireball then, and I was so scared I’d crash out. I felt like no one wanted to go near me because I represented toxicity and addressing the sport’s problems and cracking a facade, and maybe I’m right that people were scared of that. But that’s cooled down now. I don’t get that kind of hate now, but that also means I don’t have as many eyes on me. I am safer but I’m scared that means I’m more boring.
In the last year or so, I’ve spoken about people ‘buying into me’, investing in me, trusting me to do things. To continue the space metaphor, I’ve orbited F1 for so long, but I’ve never been properly brought into the atmosphere. That’s what I wanted from the second I knew I could be someone in F1: to be someone, to be known, to make huge changes. I never really grew out of that phase when I was a kid of wanting to be a celebrity. I think this is the first step to me getting inside F1. I’ve never been to a race; I hadn’t seen an F1 car until I went to Mercedes World this summer. I’m still a little kid in a candy store when it comes to this sport but today it felt like I had some money to buy something.
In October this year, I messaged team in F1, as well as other big organisations, to try and ask them to do something for #WomenInMotorsportMonth. Only Assto Martin replied. I had suggested a social media post; they brought me down to the factory and have hosted an event around my project. I’m slightly in awe of how much they’ve taken to this, and so many people today were so positive about me and the project.
It’s ade me think about my next steps. I need to start making ‘big girl moves’. When this content goes out, people are going to know my name. I have skills to sell, I have a niche, I have a vision, I have people in F1 who can attest to my skills, I have a network. I cn’t be content anymore to just work for free because I like this when I want to be big time.
As I was walking to the room where we were hosting the event today, I crossed paths with a big group of F1 journalists who had been at the factory and were just leaving reception. There were faces in there that I recognised; I try to follow people in the media as much as possible. That was the only part of the day at all where I was surrounded by men; they were all taller than me and I felt younger than I did all day. It isn't a negative thing - it was very cool - but it made me think yeah, this is who I’m going to be. Every single one of those journalists are going to know who I am and value what I have to say. I’m okay with taking my time when I need to, but I want to get this show (my career) on the road right now. I want to make the change I know we need right now. I’m not scared. I’ve cracked the shell and I know women in the sport are going to support me. I am ambitious, and that’s not a dirty word. I’m going to knock all of the walls down and people are going to help me. I’m not scared. This is me.