The Kate Walker Project – Part 1 – Who Is Kate Walker?
As Formula One fans, many of you have heard the name Kate Walker and most certainly have read her work. If you haven’t, I urge you to visit www.f1katewalker.com. Not just beauty and brains, this F1 journalist has a wealth of worldly experience already, as well as, the credentials that make her the total package. This pretty face can talk the talk and walk the walk.
I put together a series of interview questions that I plan to use for a few different F1 journalists. I did this in order to give us (the readers), a different perspective on some of the F1 journalists some F1 fans follow, admire and aspire to be. It will most certainly be interesting to see how different their paths have been to get to the same destination and what sets them apart from each other.
Some of what you are about to read; will open your eyes to what it takes to be an F1 journalist. Peeping through the keyhole of one of the most amazing occupations in the world of motorsports that offers the most wonderful experiences and intangible rewards. Strap on your safety harness and join me on this journey as I slip into the cockpit of the F1 fast lane.
Welcome to the Kate Walker Project – A 5 part mini series
Part One – Who is Kate Walker?
Kate, it’s relatively safe to say that F1 has for decades been primarily a sport where women have not been drawn to professionally. Where did your interest in F1 stem from and what made you want to chase the circus around the globe?
My introduction to F1 came about thanks to an ex-boyfriend who was into the sport. When we first got together I used to slag him off for wasting his weekends watching cars go round in circles for hours on end, and he told me I couldn’t have an informed opinion until I’d sat down and watched a race. That was in 2007.
So he got me to watch a race (can’t remember which one…) and it was more interesting than I’d thought it would be. By 2008, the boyfriend was pulling the duvet over his head and begging for more sleep while I was trying to wake him up to watch free practice from Australia/Japan/China.
I was hooked, but figured that F1 would be out of reach for someone like me. Then, around Spa 2009, I discovered an old article that Joe Saward had written in which he outlined the backgrounds of a number of F1 PRs. Those mentioned all had backgrounds like mine – bilingual, international schools, a childhood spent travelling the world. So I figured I might be in with a shot. I decided to wait until the end of the season, and the minute the chequered flag fell in Abu Dhabi I emailed all of the teams with a copy of my CV for consideration as a trainee press officer.
Two teams sent me a ‘thanks but no thanks’ email, and the other ten failed to reply at all. So I decided to get in on my own. Because 2010 was going to be the FIA’s Year of Women in Motor Sport, I approached girlracer and offered to write for them for free if they could get me a press pass. I figured it was the best chance I had to get in, and it worked. (Yes, I am that conniving.)
Give us a brief history about who you are and where you’re from. What do you want your fans and followers to know about YOU?
Oh, god. I’m a bit of an odd one in background terms, because I grew up all over the place. My dad was a political correspondent, so we got sent to wherever the story was. So I was born in London, then moved to Moscow, Washington DC, and Brussels. Then when I left home I moved to Oxford, London, Brighton, back to DC, back to Oxford, and then to southwest France, before recently relocating back to London. I blame my travelling childhood for my desire to find a job that didn’t leave me stuck in one place all the time.
As for who I am? Ummm. I’m a writer, a show-off, a narcissist. I fancy myself to be an intellectual, but I love immature jokes. I’ve got a degree in politics and philosophy, and a professional background in news editing, traditional publishing, and online media. I am obsessed with music, of a host of different genres, and I’m one of those pretentious idiots who mostly likes bands no one else has heard of. Sometimes because no one else has heard of them
Authors: Ernie Black & Kate Walker
TWITTER: @TheF1Poet , @F1Kate