Champions Red Bull claimed a Formula One first on Sunday by sending a female team member up to the podium to collect their constructors’ trophy after Sebastian Vettel won the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The claim was wrong as in 1986 Virginia Williams became the first woman to collect a constructor`s trophy on a Formula 1 podium at the British GP in 1986. She collected it on behalf of her husband Frank Williams who was recovering after his car accident.
Nevertheless, Gill Jones ended a quarter century absence of women collecting constructors’ trophies on an F1 podium, becoming the second woman to do so in the history of the sport.
Jones is Red Bull’s head of trackside electronics with responsibility for all the electronics in the racing cars and garage, joined world champion Vettel for the ceremony at the Sakhir circuit. “It was great to send an important member of our team up today, Gill Jones, who has done an awful lot,” team principal Christian Horner told reporters. “I think she’s probably the first woman to go and collect a constructors’ trophy. It was great to see her up there representing the team as well today.”
Formula One has no female drivers and the only women on the podium usually are the grid girls and hostesses standing by as the drivers celebrate.
Sauber have a female team principal in Monisha Kaltenborn, but the Swiss team have not won a race in her time in charge. Williams have Claire Williams as deputy team boss to her father Frank.