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Official Partnership with
Scuderia AlphaTauri

driven by excellence, innovation, and good health

We recently gained the support of an impact investor with a passion for social enterprise and motorsport. We’re thrilled to have been assigned an official partnership with Scuderia AlphaTauri for the 2022 Formula One™ season.

women in focus

As Ziba Foods a mission-led brand committed on the inclusion and development of women in the workforce across a variety of roles, we are happy to share with you interviews of three remarkable women at Scuderia AlphaTauri. 

We sat down with TaylorCarine, and Dominyka—who each hold integral positions in the Scuderia AlphaTauri team—for a candid conversation about what their roles entail and what it’s like to be a woman in a historically male-dominated sport. Their responses surprised us, and inspired us.

Scuderia AlphaTauri - Taylor Rohn

Taylor Rohn

QUALITY CHECKER, PRODUCTION

Scuderia AlphaTauri - Carine Cridelich

Carine Cridelich

TRACKSIDE STRATEGY ENGINEER

Scuderia AlphaTauri - Dominyka Kukurtye

Dominyka Kukurtye

PARTNERSHIP MANAGER

Scuderia AlphaTauri - Taylor Rohn

Taylor Rohn

QUALITY CHECKER, PRODUCTION

What do you do at Scuderia AlphaTauri?

I work in the trimmer and bonder department as a quality checker. In this department, my coworkers and I take care of the finishing and bonding of composite components (which make up to 70 % of all the components mounted on the car). We mostly work with carbon fiber, fiberglass, and kevlar, but also metals such as aluminum, titanium, and iron.

How did your role at Scuderia AlphaTauri come about?

I attended an 800-course held by Alma Mater Studiorum and Randstad to become a specialized technician of composite components. After a two months internship with the team, I started working as quality checker. I’m also an electrical engineering student so I’m used to reading technical drawings and using CAD programs.

What was the path you took to get here?

When I was 17, I visited Scuderia AlphaTauri and decided I wanted to work here. During my second year of my bachelor’s degree, I joined the Unibo Motorsport Team in the powertrain division where we would develop an electrical motorcycle for an international race against other universities from all around the globe. The passion for this project was matched only by the idea of studying every field of F1 prototypes, starting with the composite field.

Have you always wanted to be a part of F1/motorsports?

When I was little, I would watch the F1 races but mainly out of curiosity. Once I had visited this team and then entered the Formula Student Project, I realized that I would spend countless hours in the workshop, doing my best and studying the prototype without ever getting tired of it. I realized that it was no longer a hobby but a passion.

If yes/no, what influenced or created this desire to work in motorsports?

I’ve always been drawn to learn how things work and how they can develop. During my bachelor’s degree, I learnt that’s what engineers do for a living. Working as part of the Unibo Motorsport team made me realize that developing prototypes forces you to tackle challenges no one has faced yet. This acknowledgement became the fuel for my curiosity.

What is most fulfilling about the work you do now? What do you enjoy the most?

I love that 70% of the car passes through the department I work in. I get to see their technicalities and it helps me to better understand the physical essence of the car. Working for an F1 team is about development and precision, so there are continuous updates and new aspects to observe. Every day is a good day to learn something new.

What does a typical day at Scuderia AlphaTauri look like for you?

It is like an ongoing discovery. Every day I get the chance to see new components and understand how they will perform and what stages are involved in the process before they get onto the car. I will check the finished components, assist my coworkers with trimming/bonding makings and then give the elements to other departments for the next stages.

What is your advice to someone looking for a career in motorsports or a male-dominated field?

Collect as much experience as possible, take part in school/university projects/activities. Don’t stop dreaming or being ambitious but follow your passions and don’t give up. This is a competitive field so I would recommend keeping studying and being curious.

F1 is historically viewed as being a male-dominated sport, do you think that is changing, and if so, how?

There’s a good trend showing growing numbers of female STEM students, mechanics, workers etc. and this can be reflected also in a growing number of women in F1 too. The cultural barriers that prevented women to take up this direction of career are fading, and it is our collective duty to annihilate them completely in the next years.

Are there any unique challenges or surprises to being a woman in F1?

The only challenge I’ve experienced has been lifting heavy loads, for which I’ve been promptly helped by my male coworkers. I’ve never been mistreated by my colleagues for being a woman, I’ve never felt patronized or taken less seriously. I know I’ve been lucky, but many times women have been looked down on or marginalized, perceived only as mothers/daughters and not also as engineers/workers, (sadly this happened in Italian newspapers portraying Hannah Schmitz more as a mother rather than the successful principal strategy engineer, she is) but thankfully this is changing.

What do you think is the main difference between how F1 is portrayed in TV and movies versus real life?

The drama. Passion is key in F1, and drivers and teammates will go through a wide range of emotions during the season but there’s a deep respect among all teams. When it comes complaints, they usually refer to the regulations. Of course, there’s rivalry but toxic behavior is not welcomed, nor allowed.

What is your favorite time in the season and why?

March and April are my favorite months. The championship is just beginning, and nothing is written in stone. The thrill is in the air and there is no way to foretell what is going to happen.

What is the best advice you’ve been given (who/when/what)?

Stay humble and never take things for granted. During my former job I was more stubborn. I thought I always had the right answer, but as a crew member (and not a manager) I didn’t have the bigger picture, nor the experience required to understand it. My bosses made me understand the importance of working as a team, even if we have different views, we share the same end goal.

Tell us a secret:

Not really work related. I still have the autographs of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz when they were Toro Rosso drivers. I kept them throughout the years. Their growth during the past few years as a person, on and off the track, has been outstanding.

Favorite Ziba product:

I love the baby pistachio kernels.

Scuderia AlphaTauri - Carine Cridelich

Carine Cridelich

TRACKSIDE STRATEGY ENGINEER

What do you do at Scuderia AlphaTauri?

I am the trackside strategy engineer for Scuderia AlphaTauri. The tasks of a race strategy engineer are broadly split into two – in-season and off-season work.

In the off-season, we review the past season and lay down the groundwork for the upcoming season. It includes, but is not limited to, understanding the new regulations, the new tyres, developing the software tools and algorithms to be used during the races.

In-season, using the tools developed, we work with directing the strategy of the race weekends. It means that based on all the data collected from previous races, we run simulations that give a forecast of how the weekend might evolve. This help select the tyres for each free practice session, prepare the qualifying plans for the drivers, have a first idea of the starting compound for the race, etc. Then the data collected during the free practice sessions enable to confirm or not the data pre-event and based on it, we can now prepare more accurately the strategy for the race, especially selecting the starting compound and defining the right time(s) to pit.

This is also very important to analyse how strong (or weak) the competitors are in order to consider it when defining the race strategy.

How did your role at Scuderia AlphaTauri come about?

Going flat out to win a race is a thing of the past. With the tyre structure and sporting regulations, we are forced to stop at least once to use two different compounds during the race. That should improve the show and avoid cars running in a train.

That is why a strategy engineer is needed: he/she should gather data on different variables, such as the time lost in the pit lane when changing tyres, the degradation on each compound, the delta performance between these compounds, the effect of an eventual safety car, etc.

Based on this information, the strategy is defined. But everyone can know the fastest strategy, the key point for a strategist is to understand how the data can be used to beat the competitors.

What was the path you took to get here?

After my A-Levels, I integrated the French Classes Preparatoires in Maths and Physics. After these 2 years, I joined the ENSMM, which is a French engineering school, focused mainly on mechanical engineering.

Then I started my career in the automotive industry near Stuttgart in Germany, with the aim of joining a German motorsports team.
In parallel to my job as engineer, I completed my PhD in Machine Learning.

I worked on my first project in Formula One in early 2016 in England. And then I joined Scuderia Toro Rosso at the beginning of 2017 as strategy engineer, mainly factory based.

Since mid-2021, I am fully a trackside strategy engineer.

Have you always wanted to be a part of the F1/motorsports?

I don’t really remember when exactly I decided I wanted to work in motorsport but for sure when I was at the secondary school, I already aimed to work in Formula One.

My school friends still remember how I used to give a race debrief on the school bus on a Monday morning.

If yes/no, what influenced or created this desire to work in motorsports?

My passion for F1 started because of my family, who watch every single F1 race.

And I think I was also interested by the fact that it was a pure competition between drivers but also engineers.

What is most fulfilling about the work you do now? What do you enjoy the most?

The qualifying session. This is the part of the weekend where the pressure is at the maximum and everything is going so fast. For 30 sec you can miss the window and the car can ends up in traffic. So, we need to be reactive and optimise the traffic to give the driver the best chance to perform well.

What does a typical day at Scuderia AlphaTauri look like for you?

The time between the races is very limited so during a season, when I am at the factory, I mainly focus on analysing data from the previous races, understanding what went well and especially, what went wrong, why it went wrong and what can we do better for the next race.

And I prepare the next event, mainly focusing on the tyres: how we think they will behave based on the track characteristics, on the expected temperatures etc

It enables to start the weekend with a first idea of the possible strategies for the race and to know the questions we need to answer during the free practice sessions to help define the best strategy for Sunday.

What is your advice to someone looking for a career in motorsports or a male-dominated field?

There will be always people being surprised and questioning why you target such a job but if this is really what you want to do, just do it.

F1 is historically viewed as being a male-dominated sport, do you think that is changing, and if so, how?

I think we are on the right track. We just need to have a look at the number of women who are sitting at the pitwall (half of the teams have a woman as trackside strategist this year!).
And also, for other positions like mechanics, some teams now have a woman in their crew, and they demonstrate that they are more than capable to do this job.

Are there any unique challenges or surprises to being a woman in F1?

I think the challenges for a woman are the same for every job that is male dominated.

So, nothing surprising coming to F1, I was already prepared after having studied mechanical engineering and working in automotive before.

What is your favorite time in the season and why?

This is the start of the season because everything can still happen, we don’t know anything about the competitors’ car performance, and we are still discovering ours.
At that stage we have lots of hope and we imagine only the best for the team.

What is the best advice you’ve been given (who/when/what)?

It was when I was trying to get a job in F1 after my studies: I must keep trying, never mind the difficulties I will face, it will pay off one day.

And in fact, I work in F1 now.

Tell us a secret:

Ahaha if I tell you it, it won’t be a secret anymore!

Favorite Ziba product:

The baby pistachio kernels!

Scuderia AlphaTauri - Dominyka Kukurtye

Dominyka Kukurtye

PARTNERSHIP MANAGER

What do you do at Scuderia AlphaTauri?

I’m a Partnership Manager, responsible for the strategic planning and day-to-day management of the global sponsorship activation programs for multiple team Partners, specifically across our Technical Partnerships. I consult and work collaboratively with Partners daily to create a successful partnership activation strategy based on Partners’ commercial goals, ensuring the specific marketing objectives of partners are maximized and contractual rights are fully leveraged by delivering a range of marketing, PR, digital, and event projects. Another big part of my job takes place trackside – managing the Partner’s Guest experience during the Grand Prix, which includes logistics, hospitality, and relationship management.

How did your role at Scuderia AlphaTauri come about?

The power of LinkedIn and network. One day, a job posting magically popped up on my LinkedIn wall because one of my connections liked the Job Posting of my current boss. I wrote to him immediately and some minutes after, our call was set. The rest is history. Many ask if it was hard to get into F1 without any insider connections, I still think the most challenging part was step by step, building the right experience throughout my life, and being determined and persistent in achieving my goal.

What was the path you took to get here?

Every single decision and step throughout my life has brought me closer to who and where I am now.

My professional career started in my second year of university, when I did my internship in a corporate event organization company YEG! Your Event Group (Ex Ventana Group). This is when I found myself like a fish in water – a fast-paced environment, different projects with different clients, a constant balance between office work and traveling to diverse places, and a mix of organization and creativity. I loved the work and stayed there for another 4 years. One of the projects I got to oversee was the Sailing Event – GC32 Racing Tour – where I managed logistics and hospitality programs for guests in the Italian venues, leading a team of 5 during the on-site execution process. During that event, I realized I wanted to continue pursuing my career in Sports Events. Being an extraordinarily ambitious and organized person who focuses on professional and personal improvement, I’ve made a detailed plan of what next steps I should take to get closer to my dream – working in a leadership role in world first-class Sports Event.

The first step towards my goal was starting to work in a Sports Marketing Agency, AWE Sport, specializing in Sports Partnerships management and activation. For 2 years, I was Responsible for Jeep and Juventus Football Club Sponsorship contractual rights leverage and exploitation across the International Markets, together with other minor sports project management. To allow myself to bring my sports and marketing expertise to another level, finished my Sports Marketing and Sponsorship course at SDA Bocconi and enrolled in Executive Master’s in International Business at ESCP Business School. I did this while working full-time simultaneously. After gathering my rich cultural and experiential baggage, I’ve decided it’s time to go bigger.

Have you always wanted to be a part of F1/motorsports?

Growing up in Lithuania, I watched F1 races with my dad, but this world seemed so far away – the unreachable dream – so I never actually considered the possibility of being a part of F1. I knew I loved Events and Sports and followed that dream step by step.

If yes/no, what influenced or created this desire to work in motorsports?

I must thank my life partner, an automotive engineer and super F1 fan. He got me hyped about the sport, explaining racing strategy and teaching me the technical elements. With his support and inspiration, I felt I was good enough to pursue my career in the motorsport’s world.

What is most fulfilling about the work you do now? What do you enjoy the most?

I love every aspect of my job.

It’s diverse. Every day you need to work with different Partners, projects, Grands Prix, events, guests, and external and internal stakeholders, all from different places. You also work within different aspects of marketing and sports – PR, social media, commercial strategy, brand visibility, video and photo shootings, content creation, hospitality… You can never be bored while being a Partnership Manager.

It’s challenging. When people talk about a fast-paced environment, F1 represents it at best. Almost every week you’re in a different part of the world, coping with cultural and time differences. Also, the nature of events presents its own challenges. There are so many details to take into consideration and there’s always something that comes up unexpectedly. This means you need to have a high level of flexibility and problem-solving skills. In F1, I push myself out of my comfort zone, learning and growing daily.

Overall, I enjoy the possibility of being in contact with so many outstanding people worldwide – colleagues, other F1 teams, suppliers, clients, partners, and guests. The most rewarding feeling is when guests leave the Grand Prix or Partner event with the biggest smiles and hug you, thanking you a million times for the superb experience. The human connection is and always will be the central element of F1.

What does a typical day at Scuderia AlphaTauri look like for you?

My job divides into two: Office and Racetrack. While in the office, it’s the typical day for anyone – many meetings, e-mails, paperwork, brainstorming sessions, organization, and preparation for partnership activations programs. At the Racetrack, it becomes more exciting. It means traveling the world, exploring a new culture, meeting new people, and working with a minimum of three different time zones – that of the Factory, the race, and Partners. Everything is centered around caring for our guests and ensuring they have the best race experience or activation event.

What is your advice to someone looking for a career in motorsports or a male-dominated field?

I remember when I shared my aims of going bigger and the dream of working in F1. Everybody reacted similarly: “Girl, know your place, don’t push too hard because it’s impossible.” Well, I didn’t listen to them. So do the same, listen only to your heart and believe in yourself. You can do better. You can go bigger. If you want something, plan with little steps on how to get closer and don’t stop until you get there. It will take time and probably be challenging, but you must be persistent and determined. Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. The 1,001 attempt was the successful one. However, be flexible enough to welcome any change because our purpose could be slightly different from what we have in our minds.

F1 is historically viewed as being a male-dominated sport, do you think that is changing, and if so, how?

F1, for many years, was indeed considered a male-dominated environment but in the past years, the number of incredible women working in the Paddock has been growing. Most of them work in Marketing, PR, and Hospitality, but also in Strategy Engineering. The situation is also changing thanks to many projects dedicated to Women’s inclusion within the sport. For example, collaboration with schools and girls studying STEM subjects and the ‘Girls On Track’ program. The W Series, a dedicated female racing series, shares the racetrack with F1 during one-third of the season.

Are there any unique challenges or surprises to being a woman in F1?

I can share one of the biggest personal challenges. I look very young for my age (I’m 29, but everyone estimates me to be 16-18 years old), so every time I’m introduced to a client or a stakeholder, at first sight, they see a girl who seems to have no experience and knowledge about mechanics, engineering or F1. Hence, I always need to go the extra mile to earn respect and trust, showcasing my rich experience and deep knowledge about the business.

What do you think is the main difference between how F1 is portrayed in TV and movies versus real life?

I believe that F1 is much more than is portrayed in TV and movies. On screens, you can mainly see the racing itself, interviews and maybe some behind-the-scenes, all focusing on drivers and team principles. But it’s more than that, it’s thousands of people working together. F1 is an event, or better, 23 global events, requiring top-class management worldwide. It includes local and external stakeholders of logistics, maintenance, security, PR, marketing, hospitality, catering, doctors, suppliers, TV broadcasting, mechanics, engineers, cameras, journalists, agencies, physios, guests, partners… and everything to mount and dismount weekly, to bring from one part of the world to another, sometimes simultaneously, and over 5 continents. Every little detail counts, every little second counts, and the amount of work behind the scenes is impressive.

What is your favorite time in the season and why?

I think the start of the season is the most exciting time of the year. Everyone returns after winter break, full of energy and excitement for the new season ahead. Nobody knows how F1 cars will look or how they will perform on track with the latest changes. The top team could be the last, while the last team could have unlocked the potential to be the fastest. It is also when drivers may have changed teams, or new drivers come in. Overall, it’s the excitement of the unknown – the fresh start each race week.

What is the best advice you’ve been given (who/when/what)?

Oh, I have a bunch of those. I’m very into personal and professional development and improvement – always seeking feedback and advice. But the one that comes to my mind first: pick your battles. In life, personal and professional, there will always be some unfavourable conflicts coming your way. It’s up to us to choose which issues are worth fighting and which ones are better to let go of. Rather than dealing with too many things at once, it’s better to save your time and energy for the things that really matter.

Tell us a secret:

Lithuania is a Northern European country, with the national language being Lithuanian which has nothing to do with Russian or any other Slavic culture. We’re Baltics. It’s a secret because nobody knows about it!

Favorite Ziba product:

Baby Pistachios!

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