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GP Week : Issue 180
Monaco Singapore Abu Dhabi Austin 24/25/26 May 21 / 22 September 1 / 3 November 15/16/17 November AMBER LOUNGE THE ULTIMATE VIP GRAND PRIX EXPERIENCE 2013 CELEBRATING 10 YEARS VIP Parties Fashion Shows Dining Hospitality Live Acts BlackBook-210x282.indd 1 01/03/2013 17:52 F1 >>> NEWS RED BULL GIVES HER WINGS? Red Bull have selected Beitske Visser as the first female driver to join their highly-reputed young driver programme – the very one that gave us the winning machine that is Sebastian Vettel – putting yet another woman on a path that could one day lead to Formula One. Visser moved up from karts to single-seater racing last year, competing in the ADAC Formel Masters series with the Motorpark Academy squad – now running under the Lotus name – and proved she certainly has the grit and determination to fight her way to the top of the motorsport ladder. The 18-year-old broke her back in a practice crash at Zandvoort in only the second race meeting of the season but hid the injury and went on to win the third race of the weekend, before having to sit out the next race at the Sachsenring. The Dutchwoman’s season was further compromised after she injured her hand at the Lausitzring but she was back in the car for the final weekend at the Hockenheimring ending the season 8th in the overall standings. Motorsport journalist Linda van der Heide, who has been following Visser’s career, also tells an interesting story of how she beat Ralf Schumacher in a kart race at his home track in Kerpen over the winter. Visser was running ahead of Schumacher when Ralf passed her for the lead in a move that wasn’t legal. The win went to Visser but Ralf didn’t take too kindly to being beaten by a girl at his home track and overturned the result. Visser’s inclusion in Red Bull’s young driver programme gives another woman a chance of breaking through into Formula One at a time when women are increasingly taking on more prominent roles in different areas of the sport. Monisha Kaltenborn has succeeded Peter Sauber as team principal of the Sauber F1 team, while Claire Williams – daughter of the legendary Sir Frank Williams – was recently named deputy team principal of the outfit he co-founded. The Grove-based squad have also given their development driver Susie Wolff an expanded role, with the Scot expected to drive extensively on the team’s simulator this year. Wolff, who was also the first of the team’s drivers to sample this year’s FW35 at a straightline test in Idiada, is hoping to take part in the Young Driver Test later this year. Visser, who was hoping to make the step up to Formula 3 this season, will instead take part in another season of the ADAC Formel Masters series on the advice of Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko. 7 GPWEEK.com // 7 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: