Awesome Women in Formula One

I wrote this piece for Richard's F1 in honour of International Women's Day... Enjoy!

Formula 1 is not a sport typically associated with women. The world of motorsport seems to be one that continues to be dominated by men, and women’s alleged inferiority on the road seems to be so universally accepted that it pervades popular culture and is the subject of countless YouTube compilations.

Rampant sexism aside, and despite what the Formula 1 greats (hello, Stirling Moss!) think, women have played significant and influential roles in the sport and continue to do so today.

As we approach the beginning of the season and celebrate International Women’s Day, we have taken the liberty to highlight a few of the most powerful women to grace the grids/pits/design labs over the years, shattering stereotypes and busting balls, all in a day’s work.

Spanish racer Carmen Jordá was just announced as Lotus F1’s new development driver; all eyes will be on this Spanish driver’s performance in 2015.

Born in Alcoy, Spain, the daughter of former driver Jose Miguel Jordá has been a professional driver for over a decade and her presence doubles the number of female drivers in the paddock in 2015.

On joining the team, she recognised the challenges: “I know this is just the beginning and the biggest challenge is yet to come but already being part of a team with such a history is a real honour. This is a great achievement, but an even greater opportunity which will lead to bigger and better things.

“I’ve been racing since I was 10 years old so it was my dream to drive a Formula 1 car since I was very young,” she said to the Daily Mail.

Having completed three GP3 seasons without taking home any points, it will be interesting to see how and if she progresses with Lotus. She took out 16th place in 2010 in the Firestone Indy Lights racing for Andersen Racing, and her highest ever final position was back in 2007 when she placed fourth in Spanish Formula 3. We wish her the best of luck with Lotus!

Click here to READ ON at RICHARD'S F1!


A Eulogy

sadbrazil It wasn't supposed to be like this, was it.

The worst day in their football history, and for a nation that lives, eats and breathes football...

The World Cup has been a joy to watch this year, it really has. Games like Algeria versus South Korea, which on first glance didn't look like it would be a firecracker ended up in an amazing battle.

But this?


Seven goals conceded? One goal in the final minute to Brazil?

It was an actual mauling. A massacre on the pitch, a bloodletting.

The Germans, in their standard form, showed no mercy.

Klose cemented his place in history as the greatest world cup goal scorer.

The Brazilians faced the most painful few minutes when 4 goals were scored in less than 7 minutes.

How does a team come back from this?

The last Brazilian team to lose on this scale (to Uruguay in 1950) said they were treated like they committed the worst kind of crime.

This is literally unbelievable.

Well, we can say with certainly - Neymar was missed...





Repost: Fever for Football

This is a piece contributed to a wonderful website Sajjeling - check it out! It's a great collection of Australian-Arab narratives and I am honoured to be a part of it... article-2673362-1F38C38000000578-552_634x421


“The thing about football – the important thing about football – is that it is not just about football.” – Terry Pratchett

My friend shook his head after listening to me wail about the crushing, humiliating defeat of La Furia Roja, the Spaniards, at the hands of ‘Clockwork Orange’, the Dutch.“I don’t understand! How can you care so much when you’re not even Spanish?”

“Explain to me why it means so much? How can it matter so much to you when there is no link between you and the country at all?”

I sighed. How to explain the love of football, especially that of the World Cup?

I can’t pinpoint exactly where my love of the World Game begun. My earliest memory is that of the 1994 games. Although I don’t remember the details, I do recall being left in front of the TV with instructions to call my dad over whenever a goal was scored. Given that I was only three, I wasn’t sure what a goal was exactly but I made a deduction that it had something to do with the reactions of people in the stand. So, anytime the stadium cheered I would rush to get my father, guessing something important had happened. Looking back, I am not sure my father thought the strategy was as impressive as I thought it was.

The following world cup – France 1998 – was celebrated with the purchase of a new set of pyjamas that was blue with soccer balls all over it. Unfortunately, there were no sets of soccer pyjamas for girls; my mother bought me a boys’ set. This was fine, except no one wanted to explain to me why there was an extra hole in the front of the pants…


My obsession after that only grew, despite the fact that everyone else in my family only cared slightly. I stuck posters with match timetable and draw on the lounge room walls. I made scrapbooks for the tournament, writing little notes about each match and cutting out all the pictures from the paper, decimating my father’s newspaper-reading ritual in the process.

In 2006, I watched every single game until my mother banned me for a night and demanded that I go to bed. Apparently a straight week without sleep was enough to make my mood positively dangerous, particularly when my team was floundering. 2010 brought the World Game to my screen right in the middle of my most difficult university exam period, and perhaps may explain the grades I received that semester. 2014, even with a full time job and despicable game times in Australia, has been no different.

The question, however, remains. Why, as my friend asked, do I care so much when Australia always does poorly and my land of birth, Sudan, has never made an appearance? Why do I feel so impassioned about the fate of a team when, ultimately, it has no bearing on me?

I am no footballer – anyone who has seen me with a ball at my feet will confirm that – so it has nothing to do with being inspired to play better. And in the weeks of the World Cup, it is much more than ‘just a sport’ for billions of people around the world including me. Football, it seems, has its own type of magic.

It is the most popular game in the world, played on streets in every nation. It requires no gear apart from an object that is roughly round (in Sudan we used balls made out of old socks) and markings in the ground to delineate a goal. Money, pedigree and social standing have no bearing on your ability to be a great player and perhaps even make a name for yourself. It is simple to understand, and its barrier to entry is extremely low. Anyone can play and be a part of the beauty of this game.

This game is so much more than statistics. Football is ultimately about humanity.


The World Cup is a tournament that brings grown men to tears, changes the lives of rookie players and inspires generations of children to do something great. Some countries grind to a halt to watch the games. The green is a battlefield where literally anything can happen – great teams kicked out at the group stages, underdogs (like Greece and Costa Rica this year) making it further than anyone thought they could goalies and strikers alike making the impossible real. Goals can be scored right up until the last second, changing fates and creating heroes. Infamous moments are revisited for decades; Madonna’s hand of God, Zidane’s headbutt, that-one-English-win-in-1966.

Football is the great equaliser.

Yet, the World Cup is also a tournament that unites in defeat. 31 of the 32 teams that travel to Brazil this year will experience it in some form, whether it is crushing, like that of Spain, or hopeful, like Australia’s defeat against the Dutch. If there is one emotion we can all share, it is the commonality of World Cup heartbreak.

That’s what it’s about, right? At the end of the day, football and the World Cup are about collective emotion and teams that are vessels for the hopes and dreams of nations. The beauty of this game beyond the field is that it expresses an emotion shared right around the world. It allows us, no matter our heritage, to feel part of something huge, and taps into the reptilian part of our brain that wants to belong, to have a tribe. The World Cup makes us all one people

Scottish footballer and former manager of English club Liverpool, Bill Shankly, said it all for me.

“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”

Bounce: For the Love of Football


My mornings have been drenched with the muted cheers of stadiums and my own shrieks at near misses or triumphs.  Football (spectating) is something that is in my blood, along with millions of others around the world, and this month provides the ultimate in that pleasure.

The morning's defeat - Mexico at the hands of the Dutch - was heart wrenching: the Mexicans scoring early in the second half and then falling back, providing Clockwork Orange with the chance to push and keep pushing until a very late equaliser and extra time penalty.  Like every match going forward, the looks of utter defeat on the faces of the Mexicans hearts the hurt...

In the spirit of the universality of football though, here is a wicked video for your morning :)

BOUNCE - This is not a freestyle movie from Guillaume Blanchet I Filmmaker on Vimeo.


It has to be done in capital letters.  ALHAMDULILAH!! I just received an email from an amazing friend, mentor and F1 journo whom I write for, Richard.

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 9.06.00 pm

In writing.

So, thanks to all the tireless support from Richard (by the way, we just launched the new even-more-beautiful-and-functional website, check it out here!), whose website I have been contributing to for a few years now, I will be travelling to the Grand Prix as an accredited journalist inshallah!

This means paddock access, interviewing drivers, hopefully some behind the scenes photographs for you all, sleepless nights trying to write copy, hanging out with cool cats and people that are way cooler than I am, bringing the hijabi fashion to F1... 

It's going to be awesome, INSHALLAH.  I will keep you updated every step of the way, inshallah.

Let's see how this goes!!!


How do you go to the beach as a Hijabi anyway?

I didn't feel like I belonged,

In my tights, scarf and t-shirt with the sleeves long.

The constant stares are never kind,

What are you doing here, they seemed to ask: Do you mind?

I minded a little, and it was becoming a lot,

Yet, why did I care, for what?

For the stares of strangers, as harsh as they are,

Cannot beat the bigger picture, which is never far...


One of my best friends is from South Africa, and loves the beach.

We always joke though that when her and I head into the ocean, we look like fresh tourists that would probably end up drowning on a TV show like 'Bondi Rescue'.

Why? Well given our 'ethnic' appearance, the loud squeals when hit by a wave and the fact that we - or I at least - don't wear the usual Australian beach attire means we  look a bit different to your average aussie surfie.  Gotta love fitting into a stereotype right?


As a teenager, the question I got asked the most by curious classmates was always along the same lines.

"So how do you go to the beach if you're all covered up?"

I would always make some answer up that seemed to make sense.  "Oh, I find a way".  Truth was, my family just never really went to the beach! Both my mother and I wore the hijab, the beach was a little far  and I wasn't a huge fan of swimming anyway.  It wasn't a sport we were ever going to be competitive in.  When was the last time you saw a Sudanese Olympic Swimmer?


Mashallah, no one can deny the beauty, the power, the draw of an ocean.  So now, all grown up, what are the options?

I have been known to wade in wearing my normal, everyday clothes: a long dress or regular pants and a top and so on. In my mind, I look like this:


Where as in reality, I look more like someone who took a wrong turn and ended up drenched.

Most of the time though, I wear a pair of long running tights, a large, voluminous top and a bandana like scarf that is often misinterpreted.

It's hot, but you get used to it.

It definitely doesn't blend in, but I tell myself people are staring because they think I have swag.

I chose to cover up for reasons that meant something to me.  Yes, going to the beach is an exercise in hilarity, but who said it was going to be easy all the time?

I've decided the beach is awesome, majestic and something that I am going to embrace and enjoy.  I may look like a tourist, or a Sudanese Nile Perch out of water, but I'll be enjoying myself every step of the way!  #Yolo, right? :P


One year to go!

Displaying Asian Cup 1 year to go - group shot.jpg

I am super proud and honoured to be an Ambassador for the Asia Cup that is being held in Australia in 2015!

Football (or soccer as we like to call it), is up there with my favourite sports of all time (F1 has a pretty strong hold, if I am being honest). So to be a part of getting the word out there about this competition is something I am really excited about!

We've got one year to go and I'm getting pretty stoked for some awesome matches!

It isn't Brazil, but it's going to be good inshallah nonetheless!

Who is your proverbial money on?

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There was a cool event not too long ago celebrating 'one year to go'...check out a video here!



Villeneuve: Back for More!

I am currently writing for Richard’s F1 as the V8 Correspondent and will post links to my articles here. 

Jacques Villeneuve: What do the next two races have in store for this Canadian?

Great news for Canadian driver Jacques Villeneuve who has now been confirmed as a driver for the next two V8 Supercar rounds. 

For more, check out the article on Richard’s F1.  

History comes to Queensland!

This is my first post with Richard’s F1! Originally posted here. Cars lining up for the beginning of the race

A pristine Can-Am McLaren M8E and a Chevron B16 made their Queensland debut among the hundreds of historic race cars at the National ‘Historic Queensland’ Race Meeting at Morgan Park Raceway in Warwick, Queensland this weekend.

Held by the Historic Racing Car Club (HRCC) of Queensland, the “Historic Queensland”  Motor Race meeting for 2012 brought together well over 200 entries for a weekend of exciting races and regularity trials.  The event has run for over thirty years, attracting competitors from all over the country and providing an opportunity for motorsport enthusiasts to showcase their wares and shake off the winter blues with some good old fashioned racing.

Historic cars are those from between roughly the 1920’s to the The 1971 Can-Am McLaren M8E...What a beauty!1980’s.  The classes at this event ranged from historic Formula Ford vehicles to production sports cars and everything historic in between.  Star attractions at this year’s competition included the 1971 Can-Am McLaren M8E, the 1983 Chevron B16, 1957 Lotus Eleven and the 1977 Osella PA5; all beautiful pieces of machinery that didn’t fail to excite the enthusiastic crowds gathered on the windy Warwick grandstands.

As with all the cars, the McLaren came with unique history; it finished 9th in the Can-Am series in 1971.  With an aluminium 496 Chevy 780 Horsepower engine, one can understand how it easily outshone the competitors in its class!  The Chevron B16, not to be outdone, won the Nurburgring 500km in 1969.  The history and stories of each of the cars at the race meet made for an extremely interesting and enriching environment and the owners were more than happy to share their stories.

The 1983 Chevron B16. Batmobile? Pretty much just as cool. Happy to share stories the owners and drivers may have been, but that didn’t mean they didn’t want to win races! Some very quick drivers made their way around the track, including young names such as Dylan Higgins, a 16 year old Formula Ford driver and young Jimmy Vernon, a 15 year old from New South Wales.  Dylan had a fantastic weekend of wins and is definitely one to look out for.  Other young drivers included the third year apprentice Ashley Heffernan, 17 year old Matt Campbell and mechanical engineering student Ash Willoughby in a 1977 Formula Ford.

The young ones weren’t the only ones gunning for good drives; fierce overtaking and on-track action was seen throughout the weekend.  In the Historic Sport Car’s group, the Tiga Sports 2000 met an unfortunate early end to its race weekend: fishtailing, spinning out and colliding with the barriers on the last lap.  Fortunately the driver was fine, but unfortunately, the Tiga will definitely need some major TLC before it finds its way back on the track.  The crumpled side of the unfortunate Tiga

Pleasantly though, the on-track drama was the only drama to be found.  The event was a true joy to attend, not only because of the spectacle but also due to the sense of community; it truly felt like an event that was all about the cars.

Helen Voysey, one of the senior officials at the event put it elegantly, “I love it, I really do.  I have grown up with a lot of these cars and I can relate to the 5000’s and the CanAms.  There is no politics here though, this event is all about when motor racing was fun.  It is all for the love of the sport”

For the love of the sport indeed! Many drivers, owners and officials though expressed their desire to see more young people involved.  Peter Mohr, the President of the HRCC encouraged young people to jump right in.

“Come to meetings, come to our next event, bring your friends: we are always looking for new members!”

So, why not?  I look forward to attending the next HRCC event and learning more about the cars of yesteryear.  I recommend you all check out the nearest HRCC event in your state and see if you can get involved as well! This – the sense of community, knowledge transfer and sharing, carburettors and self funded owner-drivers – this to me, epitomises the essence of motorsport.

How about you? Have you been involved in your local HRCC? How do you feel about “Historics”?

Joining the Richard’s F1 Team!


I am excited to let you all know that I am now a writer with the fabulous motorsport blog, Richard’s F1!

Richard's F1

Check out my intro here…and I look forward to seeing you on the site!

Yassmin will be taking over the reins of our already very popular V8 Supercars coverage from our journalist Geoff Burke, who will be freed up to assist in more Formula 1 feature article writing.

Additionally, Yassmin will also contribute a host of feature and media review articles, which she will be looking to share with our many readers worldwide.

Images from Richard’s F1


This is fabulous! Oh how I want to find a copy of this film... Le Gran Final!

How is it possible that children living in the remotest part of the Mongolian steppes know who Ronaldo is? This documentary film tells the adventurous story of three heroes, none of whom have ever met, but who nevertheless have two things in common: firstly, they all live in the farthest-flung corners of the planet and, secondly, they are all three determined to see on TV the final in Japan of the 2002 World Cup between Germany and Brazil. The protagonists in this 'global' comedy are: a family of Mongolian nomads, a camel caravan of Tuaregs in the Sahara, and a group of Indians in the Amazon. They all live about 500 kilometres away from the next town – and the next television – making their task a particularly daunting one. Nevertheless, these inventive people possess the resourcefulness and the willpower to achieve their goal.

I love love love this.