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FIA appoints first female official race starter for Formula 1

Formula 1

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The FIA has appointed Rebecca Lee to take over as Formula 1’s official race starter from this weekend, RaceFans has learned.

She takes over from Christian Bryll, who became the permanent race starter following the death of former FIA Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting on the eve of the 2019 season.

Lee is the first woman to have held the post of permanent F1 race starter. She has been the starter for Formula 2 and Formula 3 races this year and assisted Bryll in observing the starts of grands prix. The F3 season concluded at Monza two weeks ago and there is only a single F2 round remaining, in Abu Dhabi at the end of November.

As the permanent starter, her job will involve monitoring the field as the drivers line up on the grid and pressing the ‘start’ button to extinguish the five red lights and signal the start of the race.

Bryll was previously the FIA’s F1 event logistics manager. Among the notable moments from his career as F1’s race starter was the bizarre restart at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix where only a single car, belonging to Lewis Hamilton, lined up on the grid, as the rest pitted to change tyres.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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  • 14 comments on “FIA appoints first female official race starter for Formula 1”

    1. why focus on gender, that is a bit sexist. just mentioning her name and the fact she takes over, when and where is more than enough.

      1. A diversity box has been ticked, and everyone needs to know about it.

      2. It’s one of those Wikipedia records that seem to be so fashionable at the moment.
        Now we can start on the next – how many successful starts in a row.

      3. Lol… How else would you word it.

        1. Fia appoints Rebecca Lee as official starter

          1. But then there would be people saying “Why no mention She is the first Women to break the glass ceiling and become the first one, this is typical that an achievement like this isnt mentioned”
            You cant win ever way….

          2. But she’s is the 1st female, so why not mention it.
            Please behave.
            Well done Rebecca Lee.

          3. It needs to make headlines, let’s be honest, I wouldn’t have opened this article if I hadn’t known she was the first woman doing that role.

    2. This sounds to me like making an attraction of the fact that someone is a female, like “Come and see the first ever zebra in our zoo!” or something. I really dislike this approach and find it disrespectful, as you don’t care who she is and what qualifies her to do a job, but the sole focus is on her biological attributes. This is XXI century, we’re over some things.

      1. Yes. I hope they haven’t turned the start button pink.

        1. The toxicity here has ramped up to a horrendous degree since 2005.

          Disgraceful comment.

          1. If you think that’s a disgraceful comment, you haven’t been checking often here, check the silverstone 2021 post race comments for example, I think this isn’t even in the top 100 of such comments.

    3. It’s a nice little step on the way isn’t it, along with Bernie Collins, Danica and Naom. And lol now even Rubiales has had to resign the sexists have to pretend they’re so not sexist whatsoever honestly ever the only complaint they can manage is how this is ‘sexist’ somehow :)

    4. Why is the sex of the person that starts the race relevant?

    Comments are closed.