The Williams F1 Team drivers Pastor Maldonado, Valtteri Bottas and Susie Wolff visited Qatar this week for a series of events at some of the country’s key locations to further cement the relationship between Williams and Qatar.
All three drivers made the trip to Qatar along with Team Principal Sir Frank Williams. The visit started at Aspire Zone, one of the world’s leading sports training facilities. The trio were given a guided tour and then spoke to an audience of Aspire Academy students. The visit concluded with the students being presented with a certificate highlighting 10 “Golden Rules” for better road safety, a key part of the FIA’s Action for Road Safety campaign. Road safety is an important part of Williams’ activities in Qatar, developing road safety simulators at its Technology Centre in Qatar Science and Technology Park.
The trio also visited one of Qatar’s most iconic cultural buildings, the Museum of Islamic Art. They were given a tour of the new Olympic exhibition and signed caps and autographs for members of The Youth Company, a social enterprise that is committed to empowering local youths, alongside a Williams Formula One car.
The drivers then paid a visit to Qatar Foundation’s (QF) headquarters in Education City. They were greeted by senior QF officials who explained the organisations ambitious plans in the areas of education, science and research and community development. The drivers were also given a tour of the Texas A&M University in Qatar (TAMUQ) campus. Williams has close links with the university, working together on a research project studying the effect of tyres on road safety.
Commenting on the trip, Pastor Maldonado said; “It was great to visit Qatar and learn more about what Williams has been doing to adapt Formula One technology. The people we met were very enthusiastic and the sporting and educational facilities are second to none.” His team mate Valtteri Bottas added; “This was my third trip to Qatar and I always look forward to coming back. The passion for sport and cars seems to be growing all the time.” Development Driver Susie Wolff praised Qatar’s growing ranks of influential women; “It was fascinating to visit QF in particular and learn about their projects. Williams is working hard to promote women in engineering and Qatar has some very inspirational women such as HH Sheikha Moza, Chairperson of QF, who are playing a key role in Qatar’s development.”
The Williams F1 Team’s Founder and Team Principal Sir Frank Williams, concluded; “One of the key pillars of the 2013 Qatar-UK Year of Culture is the shared passion our two countries have for sport. Britain leads the world in motorsport, with eight of the eleven Formula One teams based in the UK, and over the past three years we have been working hard to bring some of Formula One’s sporting and technical excellence to Qatar through our Technology Centre and promote an interest in engineering careers. The drivers all seemed to enjoy themselves and hopefully we have inspired many of those who turned out to meet them.”