The F1 Presenter...
With the F1 excitement already building in Singapore, we are delighted to interview and feature the fabulous female front of house and inspirational interviewer, Rosanna Tennant. As a global face of F1, Rosanna gives us an enlightening inside track into the exciting world of fast cars and the high life whilst admirably remaining grounded and charming :) Thank you Rosanna for your time and positive energy!
You have an extraordinary and awesome job, what is your most and least favourite thing about what you do?
The best part of my job is that I get to meet and interview some of the world’s most exciting and influential people in some incredible settings around the globe. My least favourite part is balancing work with a social life at home. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to say no to weddings, parties and holidays. Ultimately, I know it’s worth it but it’s those decisions that sometimes make you question how much you want this type of job and lifestyle..
Can you describe your average day?
I’m quite lucky as my day to day work is usually pretty varied. Sometimes I’m away with F1 at races in different countries around the world, then when I’m back in the UK I can be in the office, filming at the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport factory or helping to host an event for Dare To Be Different or F1 in Schools. I love the fact that no two days are ever the same and whilst I love a good routine, jumping from one thing to another helps keep my brain in gear!
How does what you do inform your attitude to life and how you live it?
Do you follow a health or fitness regime?
I have a Personal Trainer when I’m back in the UK and try to go to the gym as much as I can but being on the road for the majority of the year makes it tough to stick to a routine. I always try to run around the F1 tracks if I can which not only helps me better understand the circuits but also helps when there’s no gym at my hotel. I have to prioritize sleep too so getting up early in the morning to work out sometimes isn’t possible. I tend to avoid alcohol while I’m away, drink lots of water and take lots of vitamins – getting ill is not an option!
(Rosanna centre-stage at the F1)
How does it feel to be a woman in the world of motorsport and how do you feel the environment has changed for women?
There are many more women working in motorsport now but still not enough. I’m very proud to be part of an initiative called Dare To Be Different which focuses on encouraging girls to pursue a career in the industry. When I’m at work in the F1 Paddock I never think about being a woman; I think about being the best I can be at my job working with male and female colleagues to deliver the best output we can. There are still so many things I want to achieve and work on and I never think I can or can’t do something because I’m a woman. The only thing standing in the way of me achieving my goals is whether I’m good enough for the job I want to do. As far as I’m concerned that shouldn’t come down to my gender, rather my ability to do the job well, my preparation and my professionalism.
What are your views on Formula One banning the bikini ‘grid girls’?
I was disappointed to hear the Grid Girls were being removed from Formula 1. For me, those ‘girls’ had worked hard to get to where they were. None of them were forced into the job, they enjoyed it and ultimately it was their bread and butter. For me, the problem was with the eye of the beholder. Some looked at the Grid Girls and saw something smutty or sexual. Instead I saw women who had worked hard with the ambition of being a Grid Girl or perhaps a model, dedicating their time to being the best they could be.
Time and time again I see magazines with headlines such as “How to Get What You Want in the Boardroom/Bedroom” or “Find Your Inner Sex Goddess” and yet the moment women do just that they are branded unsavoury or are deemed to be going against societal norms. I’m worried the message we’re sending out to young women is confusing. You can’t tell women they can do anything they put their mind to and then enforce arbitrary conditions. Who are we to define what an individual’s ambition can and cannot be?
(Rosanna doing her thing at the F1)
For someone who travels constantly, what are your packing essentials? What can you not travel without?
(Aside from beachwear of course ;) ) There are so many things that I take with me on trips that I’m not sure which of them have become essential! One thing that’s certain is that I have to my Vanilla Carmex Lip Balm with me at all times and chewing gum nearby!
Do you have any tips for remaining so level-headed and charming when interviewing under pressure?
The only times I feel stressed before an interview is when I don’t know my subject matter well enough. Preparation is absolutely key. You need to know your subject inside and out. Once the interview has started I try to stay level-headed by listening. If you listen to what the person you’re interviewing is saying it helps you stay right there in the moment with them and that automatically calms you down – you don’t want to be racing ahead trying to come up with questions as you’ll miss key points. Ultimately listening brings the interview back to what it really is: a conversation between two or more people!
(Keeping her cool!)
And when you get some time off, how do you relax?
I’m terrible at relaxing. I’m obsessed with making lists - I almost have to write relax and do nothing on my To Do List to make it happen! Working out always makes me feel calmer and I love catching up with friends as it’s such a rarity for me given I’m away so much.
What’s your dream destination or dream holiday?
I’m always happy lying on the beach or by the pool in my bikini but for a really special holiday I’d absolutely love to go to Kerala and then on to the Maldives! I don’t ask for much!
Who or what inspires you to seize the day each morning and what advice would you give to your former self?
My family have been instrumental in everything I do. Without them I wouldn’t have had the opportunities to go for what I really wanted when I was younger and even though I’m now older I still couldn’t do what I do without them. Knowing I have their total support means I can push that bit harder every day and of course I want them to feel that their sacrifices to help me achieve my dream were worth it. I’d tell my former self to be patient. At the end of every year I like to feel the next one will bring me new challenges and opportunities but sometimes that’s not always possible. My impatience often made and still does make me stressed which of course isn’t productive – I think I forget that sometimes consolidation is just as important as progression.
Finally, swimsuit or bikini?