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Zimbabwean shines in F1

by Staff reporter
14 Jul 2020 at 08:41hrs | Views
Stephanie Travers (right) celebrating with Lewis Hamilton on the podium following his victory at the Styrian Grand Prix
ZIMBABWE-BORN chemical engineer and Mercedes-AMG Petronas trackside fluid engineer Stephanie Travers continues to lift the country's flag high on the global stage after joining Lewis Hamilton on the podium following his victory at the Styrian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Six-time Formula One world champion Hamilton kickstarted his world championship defence by romping to victory during the second race of the season at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.

The 35-year-old British driver, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport, and considered by some to be the greatest of all time, improved on fourth place on the same track a week earlier, with this crushing win from pole position by 13.7 seconds.

Valtteri Bottas finished second, giving the team its first 1-2 finish of the 2020 season and 54th in Formula One.

During Hamilton's victory celebrations on the podium, he was accompanied by Zimbabwe's Travers, who accepted the constructors' trophy on behalf of Mercedes-AMG Petronas.
Travers was excited about her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"I'm very excited. Once-in a-lifetime opportunity. So I'm thrilled to have been chosen today," she said in a video posted by the Mercedes team on their official Twitter account.

British newspaper, Daily Mail praised Mercedes' decision to send Travis to the podium, as it comes at a time Hamilton has been at the forefront of campaigning for social justice and racial diversity in Formula One.

"It's two wins out of two now for Mercedes in 2020, with Valtteri Bottas taking victory at the Austrian Grand Prix in the season opener and Hamilton tasting glory on Sunday. That means Mercedes send up a member of their team to the podium to collect the constructors' trophy on their behalf.

Joining Hamilton for the celebrations was Petronas's trackside engineer Stephanie Travers, who is one of the very few racing staff within the paddock with a BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) background. Mercedes appear to be keen to set the foundations of promoting diversity in the sport which star man Hamilton is campaigning for," the paper said.

Travers joined the Mercedes team as a trackside fluid engineer last year after beating 7 000 other applicants and going through a five-stage rigorous selection process.

She was unveiled at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain by Eric Holthusen, director of technology for the Petronas Lubricants International Group.

Travers was born in Harare to Maria and Bertram Travers and she is the grand-daughter of Pat Travers, the late chairman of Arcadia United FC.

"My dad and granddad were engineers, so they were very proud when I chose to follow a family tradition, even though I'm the first to choose chemical engineering.

"I was nervous about being the only female, but there were five other women on my course, plus loads more across the whole school.

"In fact, in the year below me, the ratio of men to women is almost 50:50, which is fantastic," she said of her engineering background.

Source - newsday