Nathalie McGloin created history at the British Grand Prix as she became the first disabled sportsperson to present a trophy on the podium.
McGloin presented the third place trophy to Kimi Räikkönen at the end of the race at Silverstone after she was handed the honour by David Richards, chairman of the Motor Sports Association.
The Brit was left completely paralysed from the neck down in a car crash in 1999 but in 2015 became the first woman with spinal injuries to be granted a race licence.
Since then she has raced in the Porsche Club Championship where she has achieved podium finishes in the past.
Writing on her website nathaliemcgloinracing.com she described the events of the weekend at Silverstone.
Qualifying was a tight affair with Lewis Hamilton pipping Sebastian Vettel to pole position by o.o44 of a second and McGloin was able to watch everything unfold from hospitality provided by them by the Motor Sports Association.
“Andrew and I had been invited by the MSA to join them in their hospitality in the Brooklands Suite on the Saturday and we very much enjoyed watching the F1 and F2 cars defy physics with their braking capacity into Brooklands.
“The view from the balcony is probably the best on the circuit, giving you three corners and most of the Wellington Straight.”
McGloin often speaks at events for the charity, Wings For Life, and after speaking at the event in the week building up to the British Grand Prix, she was invited to spend time at the Red Bull Energy Centre where after speaking to Max Verstappen she tells of the story where she meets Räikkönen, the man she would hand over the third place trophy to the next day.
“On our way back we saw Kimi Raikkonen being hassled by some overly enthusiastic fans clearly on his way out of the paddock after qualifying.
“Despite Kimi looking like he had somewhere to be, I decided to introduce myself.
“Kimi was the other driver I really hoped I might be presenting the award to.
“I boldly strolled up to him extending my hand and said, ‘Hi Kimi, can I introduce myself?
“My name is Nathalie McGloin and I’m presenting the third place trophy on the podium tomorrow’.
“His face instantly broke into a smile and he very kindly agreed to have his photo taken with me.
“As we were posing for the photo, I asked him how he’d done in quali as I hadn’t seen the results yet.
“He told me he was third on the grid and I said that it might very well be me who would present him a trophy in that case.
“He smiled politely and told me that he was hoping to finish higher up than third and maybe I should ask if I could give one of the other trophies out!”
Race day was McGloin’s big moment and she admits that she hadn’t realised how big a moment this would be as she appeared on the podium but tells of the story when she found out it the Finnish driver that had finished third.
“As I approached the podium with the third place trophy on my lap to give to Kimi, he recognised me from meeting him the day before and his face completely lit up.
“He came down from this podium with a huge smile on his face and helped me pick the trophy off my lap to give to him.
“‘It’s you!’ he said, to which I responded ‘I told you I’d be here!’.”
McGloin finished off her piece by stating that motorsport is for everyone and is looking forward to seeing more disabled drivers joining the sport.