Nicole Havrda: Focused on F1

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Canadian racecar driver, Nicole Havrda is well on her way to Formula 1. Photo Mercedes-Benz Kelowna

This Canadian racing star is determined to pursue a career in F1.

Mercedes-Benz Kelowna celebrated International Women’s Day in style when they invited 18-year-old Canadian racecar driver, Nicole Havrda to speak to a group of young girls from the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The “Driving Your Future at Mercedes-Benz Kelowna” event welcomed guests to the dealership for special tours of the new state-of-the-art facility and for an exclusive premiere screening of a new documentary about women in motorsports.

“The aim of the evening was to encourage guests to put themselves in the driver’s seat – perhaps literally, but more so figuratively – and go after what they want, even if it means challenging the status quo,” explains Sinead Brown, Manager of Corporate Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility for Mercedes-Benz Canada.

“The audience was clearly inspired by Nicole’s story,” Brown adds. “During a Q&A following the documentary, many asked Nicole about her personal experiences overcoming challenges and how she remains motivated in the face of obstacles.”

A lofty goal

Havrda is laser-focused on a lofty goal: to race in Formula 1. “I fell in love with motorsport when my dad took us to a Formula 1 race in Austria during a family vacation,” Havrda recalls. “Watching the race from the grandstands, I knew I wanted to be on the track one day. I have always been competitive. Before motorsport, I was a competitive swimmer with a dream of making it to the Olympics. After that trip, I channelled my competitive energy into motorsports.”

Havrda is currently racing in Formula 3, where she is the first woman ever to win the Formula Pro USA F3 Western Championship. “I started racing go-karts competitively at age 12, and by age 14, I was racing powerful sports cars like the Mercedes-AMG GT4,” she says. “My goal is to continue in the Formula series, and work my way up to one day race in Formula 1.”

An inspiring message

Havrda’s message to the many young girls who attended the “Driving Your Future at Mercedes-Benz Kelowna” event was both encouraging and inspiring. “I told them that just because you don’t see a lot of girls doing something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go after it,” she says. “I would love to see more women in the automotive industry.”

Havrda’s personal journey has been an exciting one. With every race, she edges closer and closer to her ultimate goal, and along the way, she has had many opportunities to meet with some of the legends of F1.

“I love everything about Formula 1, especially the atmosphere and the energy that comes from the drivers and the racing teams,” she says. “At the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix, I participated in an interview with Lewis Hamilton and it was amazing. We connected on the same things, such as our dads helping us throughout our careers, and it was so nice to chat with him about the changes that are being made in the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team with diversity and getting more women on the team. I love hearing about these positive changes in the industry.”

Havrda says that she is happy to be an example to girls, “showing that they can find success in automotive – or in any field they want to pursue. Just because they don’t see a lot of girls doing something, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t go for it!”

She encourages race fans to follow her career and adventures on her personal website.


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