My name is Lilly Brame, I’m 17 years old, and motorsport is my life.
I wasn’t introduced to motorsport until later on in my teenage years, my first encounter came in 2015 through the means of the Monaco Grand Prix; in which Verstappen crashed his Toro Rosso, Hamilton lost his win and Red Bull ‘switcheroos’ cost both Ricciardo and Kvyat a podium. The drama, speed, and glamour of the race enticed me, and I immediately fell in love. Watching more and more, I became increasingly interested in the work that went into the cars behind the scenes, and one day realised this was a job I wanted to pursue. I mean, who wouldn’t want to travel around the world doing what they love?
In order to turn my dream into reality, changes have had to be made. In 2017 I chose my A level options. I initially chose: Maths, German, History and English, but on finding out more about getting into motorsport engineering I swapped German for Further Maths, and English for Physics. I love learning languages, so swapping German was a hard decision to make, but because of my determination to achieve my career goals, I knew I had to make sacrifices. This was replaced by my learning Italian, I had read that in order to work for Ferrari you must be able to speak Italian, so I picked up the books and got to learning. At the same time, I didn’t want to lose my knowledge of German so I also carried this on.
Last November, I started attending university open days. On my day at Hertfordshire, walking around with my Red Bull Racing jacket proudly worn, I noticed I was the only girl interested in Automotive engineering. I could see the looks I was getting, their eyes told me I was better suited to be a Pit Girl! But when I began to ask questions, I could see that look fade. From that moment on, I had a feeling that I was intruding on a ‘man’s world’, but after a conversation with a wise lady, I came to my senses. Being a woman makes no difference. It’s what you can do that counts.
For the most part of my life, I believed that university was the only option. You go to school, you go to sixth form, you go to university, you get a job. Simple, right? No, if you’re anything like me it’s far from simple. I sometimes struggle with learning in a classroom, I learn by doing, so when I found out about apprenticeships, I was intrigued. I am now looking for one with any motorsport teams, as I feel it is the best option for me.
So far, I am only at the start of my journey, but I am already aware that there will be days when there are obstacles to overcome. Some days where I will just want to give up. Some days where I won’t feel good enough. Some days where I will get frustrated at myself for not understanding. I have already experienced some of these. It’s hard, no one ever said achieving dreams was an easy task. My dream is to one day be the team principal of world championship winning Formula 1 team. I still have a long way to go, but I will do anything to get to that point. And I know, that perseverance through those tough times will get me there.
I know I won’t be able to do this alone and am lucky that I won’t have to. I have the privilege to be part of an amazing group called Dare to be Different. The support that I have received from amazing women that are just like myself is incredible, so many opportunities have been given to me and I am thankful for everything that everyone has done. Without this amazing group of women, I can definitely say I wouldn’t know as much as I do now! To this end, I am aware of how much of a difference having help and support can make to someone’s journey, and I would love to help in any way that I can. We all must stick together in such a competitive environment. Together our perseverance will make dreams a reality.