Year six students at the British International School of Jeddah were in for a treat on Thursday, after W Series driver and Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team driver ambassador, Jessica Hawkins, spoke to the students about the world of motorsport and the careers it offers to men and women.
As part of her visit to the school, which took place just a day before the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Hawkins discussed with the students all the potential avenues they could go down should they possess a keen interest in a career in motorsport. Whilst at the school the professional racing driver also spoke to the students about what her role at Aston Martin involves.
Hawkins is well-known for her work both on and off track. Her racing career began in 2014 when she took part in the British Formula Ford Championship. Since then, she has worked her way up through the ranks, competing in several championships including the British Touring Car Championship and W Series. Recently she also demonstrated her immense skills as a stunt driver, in the latest instalment of the James Bond franchise and global box office hit No Time to Die.
“I really hope I’ve helped inspire the next generation” – Jessica Hawkins
After her visit, Hawkins spoke about just how much she enjoyed discussing her career with the pupils, she is hopeful that she’s played a part in inspiring the next generation of motorsport enthusiasts.
“I’ve really enjoyed my visit today and sharing my experiences with the students here. I think it’s really important for young people in the Kingdom to realise the many opportunities that exist in the world of motorsport, regardless of your background or gender. It’s been a delight to hear from the students and to answer their questions and I really hope I’ve helped to inspire the next generation of motorsport professionals here in Saudi Arabia.”
Simon Clark, Primary Deputy Head Teacher of the British International School of Jeddah, believes it was a great experience for the students to talk to Hawkins, with many of the female students especially leaving the talk feeling inspired.
“It was absolutely wonderful to have a British female driver come and talk to the students today. While many of our students were already excited to be witnessing the second F1 race in Jeddah in the last 4 months, there were many more that have now caught the F1 bug as a result of Jessica’s visit. It was great for the students to have the gender stereotype of race car driving challenged and for many of our girls in particular to be inspired by Jessica’s journey into motorsport. You never know, in that hall today there could well be a future female F1 driver!’”