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Formula E: Exclusive interview with team manager Francesca Valdani, a motorsport woman...

A nice chat with Francesca who tells us how and when her love and passion about Motorsport was born, her career and how she can manage the high level of stress, that Formula E generates in and all around the team. We also talked around the hidden logistic work that there's behind a race week-end, a quick insight to Season 5 before concluding with some important considerations on women in Motorsport.

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Formula E: Exclusive interview with team manager Francesca Valdani, a motorsport woman...
Fuente imagen: Francesca Valdani

Let’s start talking a little about you...


- When did you realize that you wanted to work in the motorsport world?

Since I lived near the Monza’ circuit I have always been fascinated by the noise that could be heard from the park, even by driving or opening my room windows. When I had the chance to witness a F1 test live I realized that I wanted to work in the motorsport. Then between thinking and doing there could be an abyss but in the end I did it. I think I’m a privileged person 'cause I'm doing what I've always wanted to do; this is a very special world that allows you to test yourself every day, confront people of different cultures, travel a lot and try many emotions that you cannot easily find in other jobs.

- At this point you are a key piece for your team, can you tell us briefly how did you get this high?

Obviously there are many sacrifices behind it. Sometimes you have to be a little crazy and taking risks by making choices that are opposite to what others would do. It has happened to me in the past to have made incomprehensible decisions for my family and my friends, but looking at where I am now, I can say that I did well.



- You’re also taking care of the logistics and so your job never stops having presumably to manage a very high level of stress, what is the secret of your success?

I could say I do yoga and I've found my karma, but it's not like that! The motorsport puts all those who work here at high stress levels: for the long days of work, and for crucial decisions that you have to take in a very short time both because you have to manage and many people are involved with their different characters and cultures. Perhaps the secret is the group of people that work with you and their strength! In the end, a TEAM is also this, helping and supporting each other even in moments of extreme stress and difficulty.

- Can you tell us briefly what does your typical day during the race weekend look like?

I do not have a typical day. The first few days we set up the box, then it happens to go to buy on-site last-minute necessities. When the drivers arrive on track I make sure that everything`s in order and that they have all they need for the race’ sessions. I check all the pre-booked appointments are kept and during the day of competition I help the team manager with his work.

- On a personal level after these years spent in the Formula E championship, do you feel that your future is here or would you like to experience other categories?

Surely the FE is the place to "be", the electric is catching on in other categories: just think the Rally Cross, eMoto, iPace ... Now I work in an official team and I can see the difference and I continue to progress on a human and professional level every day. I'm a motorsport lover though and “the petrol races” still have their charm, it happens that some friend calls me to help him in some spot race and a 24-hour competition still tastes uniquely.


Taking a look at Season 5...



- In the past, according to many, the Achilles' heel of these "electric monsters" was the battery, but finally after 4 seasons the cars will be able to play an entire race without having to make the switch. Thanks to it, , will the category finally reach the top visibility it deserves, also winning the approval of the most skepticals?

In this season we will see new cars, different in appearance and also for power and battery life. The category is receiving more and more approval day after day, the big car manufacturers, skeptical in the past, are increasingly finding the category interesting and innovative. They are no longer considered electric “toy cars” but cars that have now found their own space in the racing world.


In conclusion, some words for women in Motorsport...


- Although the situation has improved considerably in some areas of Motorsport, unfortunately there are still prejudices, what do you feel to say to all women who dream of a future in this scene?

Never give up and always fight for what you believe in. Women are a great help in a team because they are usually more organized than men and seeing things from another perspective sometimes helps the whole team. Even if in the beginning it will be difficult to find your own space and convince those around you, you do not have to give up.

Interview: Alessandro Arcari -@BerrageizF1

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