One woman, One job in F1Wags F1
Today I’m going to talk about Stephanie Travers, the first black woman to stand on a podium in F1. Fan of Formula One with her father since childhood, Stephanie has always dreamed of working there. This is why she decided to adapt her school curriculum to her goal. Through perseverance and passion, Stephanie Travers, 24-year-old, has been chosen by D’Ariggo, CEO of Petronas, during a final interview from more than 7,000 candidates to become the new Mercedes AMG-Petronas trackside fluid engineer.
Native of Zimbabwe, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Bradford, UK (1st Class Honours); before graduating with a Master’s degree in Advanced Chemical Engineering from Imperial College, UK. She also began a Master’s degree in Business Administration at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 2019. During her studies, she also worked as an Asset Care Engineer at BASF (2017-2019) and Project Manager at PolyGen (Oct-Nov 2017).
What does her job consist of?
Stephanie is responsible for analyzing Petronas Syntium engine oil, Petronas Tutela gearbox and transmission oil, and the Petronas Primax fuel. Therefore, she provides technical and analytical support to the Mercedes team. All her analyses enable her to check the car’s compliance with the FIA regulation and its good health.
Thus, a typical race weekend starts on Wednesday for Stephanie, who must first set up the laboratory, then check the equipment and import fluids. After that, before and after each session, she takes and analyzes the engine oil to ensure that no abnormalities are present. Finally, at the end of each racing day, she and the crew also check the fuel in the fuel bowser to see if there are any discrepancies.
The importance of her presence on the podium:
When Stephanie stepped onto the podium alongside Lewis Hamilton at the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix, she made history by becoming the first Black woman to achieve such a performance in 70 years of competition. She proved to the world that a black woman could play an important and decisive role in an elite sport like Formula 1. Moreover, Lewis paid her a beautiful tribute on his Instagram account after the race: “I wanted to post this because it’s such an important moment. This is Stephanie who is one of my teammates. She is one of our trackside fluid engineers. On Sunday, she became the first black woman to stand on the podium in Formula 1 history. This is an amazing achievement and I just wanted to acknowledge her for her hard work, positivity, and passion for her job. Like most of the jobs in our sport they are in high demand, and Stephanie was selected out of over 7000 applicants for her role. Steph said she wants to inspire young black children, and children of colour to believe that they can do it too, and I couldn’t agree more. Put your mind to it, and you can be anything you want to be. So whilst I really appreciate all of the congratulations, I wanted to take the opportunity to lift her up, and share them with her.”
Sources: Autosport.com (article by Oleg Karpov), Franceracing.fr (article by Gael Angleviel), & Thisisafrica.me (article by Socrates Mbamalu).
Pics belongs to their rigghtful owner, found on Mercedes website, Lewis Hamilton Instagram and Google Images.
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