Natalie Pinkham is a British television presenter and Formula 1 pitlane reporter working for Sky Sports F1.
She made history by being the first woman to commentate on a Formula 1 session, during the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix when she led Sky’s commentary on the first practice session.
She began her Formula 1 presenting career with BBC 5 Live as a pitlane reporter before joining Sky Sports in 2012.
From then on she has become an integral part of the Sky Sports F1 team, being one of the main pundits, interviewing drivers in the media pen, and in 2013 she became a host of The F1 Show, which runs every Thursday on a race weekend.
Pinkham went to Nottingham University to study Politics, but in an interview with Formula Careers she stated she had always wanted to have a job in the TV industry, either as a producer or presenter – which is an honest homage to her career now.
As a journalist, she is my inspiration.
When I first started watching sport I was young, but as the years have gone on I have developed an understanding of the lack of female presence within the sports journalism industry, most notably in Formula 1.
But seeing Pinkham in the paddock has set a precedent that women can work in motorsports, and are able to succeed in that field – giving them the respect that they deserve on par with other presenters.
As someone who has an interest in the sports journalism industry, watching somebody on television I could relate to amongst the hugely male dominated presence, was the most incredible and comforting feeling. It only encouraged me to pursue my ambitions further.
For such a male dominated sport Formula 1 has come a long way, along with increased support for women in motorsports in general.
In terms of the media, female empowerment has been shown by an increase in female presenters and pundits including Natalie Pinkham and former racing driver Naomi Schiff, who joined the Sky Sports F1 team in 2022.
From a racing perspective the landscape for women in motorsport has also developed – through series such as F1 Academy, which aims to be a gateway for female drivers in F1, and greater inclusivity within feeder series’ like F3 and F4.
Although having more female inclusion is a late process considering how long motorsports have been taking place, what is important is that the environment has become, and is continuing to become, more diverse.
With presenters such as Natalie Pinkham paving the way for the future and making unprecedented achievements – including being the first female F1 commentator and hosting The F1 Show – the motorsports industry can become more diverse and supportive of new and upcoming female voices.