Holbrook among recipients of grant from Women’s Sports Foundation

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Pirelli World Challenge driver Shea Holbrook (pictured) is one of eight female drivers that will receive a grant from the Women’s Sports Foundation. The WSF’s “Women in the Winner’s Circle Project Podium Grant” is designed to support them through business challenges in their careers.

“I’m incredibly honored and thrilled to be a part of the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Women in the Winners Circle Project Podium Grant,” Holbrook said in a statement. “Having the opportunity to collaborate with two foundations that are making strides in the advancement of women in motorsports is truly amazing and humbling.”

The original project was founded in 2007 by seven-time Indianapolis 500 starter and former WSF president Lyn St. James to back female drivers in multiple disciplines of racing. Besides Holbrook, the other recipients include:

  • Ayla Agren, 20, Norway – Mazda Road to Indy Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship
  • Sabre Cook, 19, Grand Junction, Colorado – F1600 or Skip Barber Racing Series
  • McKenna Haase, 16, Des Moines, Iowa – 305 Sprint Cars
  • Hannah Newhouse, 16, Twin Falls, Idaho – NASCAR K&N Pro Series
  • Melissa Paris, 30, Oceanside, California – AMA/Spanish National Championships (Motorcycles)
  • Kristin Treager, 26, Tulsa, Oklahoma – Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge
  • Taylor Ferns, 17, Washington Township, Michigan – USAC Silver Crown/National Midget Series

Each racer will receive $5,000 to $10,000 to help support their respective efforts in 2014 and will also have access to a network of mentors from the WSF.

Photo Credit: Pirelli World Challenge PR

F1 2017 driver review: Sebastian Vettel

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Sebastian Vettel

Team: Scuderia Ferrari
Car No.: 5
Races: 20
Wins: 5
Podiums (excluding wins): 8
Pole Positions: 4
Fastest Laps: 5
Points: 317
Laps Led: 286
Championship Position: 2nd

2017 was supposed to be the year Sebastian Vettel finally fulfilled his ambition of emulating Michael Schumacher by returning Ferrari to its championship-winning heyday.

Instead, it ended in disappointment and frustration – once again.

Ferrari arguably made a greater step across the change in technical regulations for 2017 than any other team, living up to its pre-season tag as favorite by winning the opening round in Australia in fashion.

Vettel and Ferrari led their respective championships following the Monaco Grand Prix as the German ended a 16-year win drought for the Prancing Horse in the principality, and even heading into the summer break, a shot at both championships was looking good.

However, cracks had started to appear. Vettel’s remarkable antics behind the safety car in Baku sparked controversy after driving into Hamilton, suggesting the tension of the title fight was beginning to take its toll on the German.

The final run of flyaways was where things really fell apart for Vettel, though. Singapore looked to be a slam-dunk win, only for a start-line crash also involving teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen to put 25 free points in Hamilton’s pocket.

Reliability woes then struck in Malaysia and Japan – two more races Vettel could realistically have won – to make it game over in the title race, with Hamilton wrapping things up in Mexico.

Vettel only finished the year 46 points back from Hamilton, proving the impact the three bad races in Asia had. Realistically, this was a title race that should have gone down to the wire in Abu Dhabi. Instead, Vettel remains a four-time champion, level with Hamilton, who had just one to his name back in 2013 when his rival secured his fourth.

Ferrari’s internal issues will come under the microscope over the off-season, and Vettel himself knows there is plenty to work on. Staying cool under pressure and not letting things boil over as in Baku is the most obvious area for improvement.

But there is reason for hope. If Ferrari can keep up with Mercedes and repeat its impressive step into 2017 through the upcoming off-season, we may well be treated to another Vettel/Hamilton scrap at the front of the field, perhaps settling once and for all who is the greatest driver of the post-Schumacher era.

Season High: A crucial win in Hungary despite battling with a broken steering column.

Season Low: Letting tensions flare in Baku and hitting Hamilton behind the safety car.