Monisha Kaltenborn, Chief Executive Officer of Sauber Motorsport and one of the FIA Women in Motorsport Ambassadors, took time out of her hectic schedule at the Japanese Grand Prix to welcome Keiko Ihara to the world of Formula One.
Ihara is the only woman competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship and was recently named as one of the Japanese people with “Passion with no border” by the National Policy Unit of the Japanese Government. This was in recognition of her extraordinary determination and contribution to top level motorsport.
“It came as a big surprise to me when Monisha invited me to this race,” said Keiko. “She is an ambassador of women in motorsport and the only female CEO in Formula One. I’m so happy to meet her and Kamui Kobayashi, and to be here in the Suzuka paddock with the Sauber F1 Team. It is very impressive to see all the engineers and the computer equipment which is really on a incredible high level. I would love to drive a Formula One car.”
Adding to the delight at being invited to join the team at her home round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, Ihara’s fellow countryman Kamui Kobayashi finished the race on the podium in third position for the Sauber F1 Team.
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