In profile: Adrienne Watson, Motorsport UK Steward at the British Grand Prix
Adrienne Watson, a Motorsport UK Official, is taking on the role of the Motorsport UK-appointed Steward at the 2022 FORMULA 1 LENOVO BRITISH GRAND PRIX .
The British Grand Prix features high-profile drivers competing in W Series, women dedicating their time as volunteers and women delivering at the top end of the sport in engineering and strategic roles.
Watson is one of the many women in motorsport in and around the paddock this weekend and Friday 1 July marks Women in Motorsport Day, as Motorsport UK, W Series and Silverstone recognise and showcase the success of women in all areas of motorsport.
The community is encouraged to use #womeninmotorsport across social media to share their journey, role and experiences in the sport to encourage and inspire more women to get involved and that motorsport is a place for them to succeed and enjoy.
With a career spanning 30 years, Watson has taken on numerous roles in motorsport as she explains, “I was originally a membership secretary for the British Racing Drivers’ Club, and I got more interested in the competition side of things.
“I got involved in being the championship co-ordinator for a couple of the championships, then when the British Touring Car Championship moved to the super touring era, they asked me to go and be championship co-ordinator for that. And from there I went on to do Formula BMW both in UK and Europe and World Finals.
“As a result of that then I got involved in writing regulations. So then when I had to take a step back from working full time in the sport and wanted to put something back it seemed the obvious thing to be a Steward because obviously most of it’s around regulations and interpretations of regulations.”
Watson has taken on numerous roles in motorsport, becoming a Motorsport UK Steward in 2012 and has now been appointed as the only female Steward on the panel of her home Formula 1 Grand Prix.
“I went through the training programme [in 2012] with MSA, as it was then, Motorsport UK as it is now. Since then I’ve obviously had my licence and although I train multi-discipline, I’m mostly doing car racing.
“The training programme that Motorsport UK have put together is very good in that it will give you a good grounding, everything you need and then you just really need to go out there and have as much experience as you can. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.”
Female representation in motorsport is increasing and growing, and Watson has seen that change first hand, “Things are a lot different now than when I started because there were very few women involved in motorsport right back in the 1980s in an organisational position.
“There are far more opportunities now. My advice would be grab every opportunity that you can, work hard and your opportunities will come.
“I’m of the firm opinion that women should not be given preferential treatment. You still need to do you do your homework and be good at what you do. And then if you do that, then I think the opportunities will come to you.”
Watson is part of a four-person panel of Stewards at the British Grand Prix, all with high levels of experience. Nish Shetty, Mathieu Remmerie and Danny Sullivan join Watson on the panel and they all work together collaboratively to ensure fair play and a safe environment on the track.
“We’ve got a Chairman of the Stewards who’s from Singapore [Shetty] and the role in all the Grand Prix’s is a shared between four,” explained Watson.
“Nish is the continuity between us all. So the Chairman is very well aware of what’s happened in previous races, but also because we know we’re going to be working we’re following what the decisions have been made at previous events. Danny is here to give a driver’s perspective. So if we’re discussing an issue on track, then he can give us a much better idea of what the driver may have been thinking, doing, etc during that time.”
If you’re wondering how you can start your motorsport journey, there are a variety of options available – even if you are under 18 or not a competitor.
Find out more about the different types of motorsport and how you can get started here.