Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Hamilton hails Zimbabwe F1

by Staff reporter
15 Jul 2020 at 08:28hrs | Views
SIX-TIME Formula One (F1) world champion Lewis Hamilton has showered praises on Zimbabwean chemical engineer and trackside fluid engineer for the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team Stephanie Travers after she became the first black woman to stand on the Formula One podium on Sunday.

Twenty-five-year-old Harare-born Travers captured the world's attention after being selected by Mercedes to receive the constructors' trophy for the team after Hamilton had claimed a convincing victory in the Styrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.

Although most of the attention was on star drivers Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas after they completed a dominant one-two finish, Travers nonetheless achieved a significant milestone in F1 history by becoming the first black woman to stand on the podium in 70 years of the world championship.

Hamilton posted about the importance of the moment on Instagram after the event, describing the honour given to Travers as significant in the history of the sport.

"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," he wrote.

"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," he continued.

Travers' breakthrough in the sport came last year when she was selected out of over 7 000 applicants globally for the role, to join the six-time world championship-winning team and provide them with a comprehensive suite of fluid support services. Travers is one of the few racing staff, within the F1 paddock, coming from a minority ethnic background, in the sport dominated by white men.

However, team Mercedes and its star driver Hamilton have been at the forefront of campaigning for racial diversity in F1.

Hamilton said Travers' dream was to inspire young children from minority backgrounds.

"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 while I really appreciate all of the congratulations, I wanted to take the opportunity to lift her up and share them with her."

Travers' appearance on the podium this weekend was also hailed by Mercedes, which posted on Twitter: "How awesome was it to see Steph collecting the trophy on behalf of Petronas Motorsports and the whole team today." And team sponsors Petronas added: "Proud to see Stephanie Travers repping (representing)
the entire Petronas family on the podium!"

Travers was born in Harare to Maria and Bertram Travers. She is the grand-daughter of Pat Travers, the late chairman of Arcadia United Football Club. Travers has been living in the United Kingdom since 2004 after her family relocated from Harare's Arcadia suburb.

Source - newsday