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Will you be watching the British Grand Prix?

Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,499 Disability Gamechanger
edited July 2021 in Transport and travel
The 2021 British Grand Prix, taking place at Silverstone, is on today. 

To mark this, we wanted to share this article from ThePitcrewOnline celebrating disabled drivers. I've picked out a couple of the drivers from the list and posted them below, but I'd definitely encourage you to check them all out yourself too :)
In any sport it’s an incredible feat to be able to compete whilst having a physical disability. Motorsport is one of those sports where the differences between a driver without a physical impairment and drivers who do, can be highlighted in some areas but can be completely unnoticeable if you weren’t aware of a driver’s disability beforehand.

To mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we decided to talk about a few drivers who are breaking down barriers in racing for those with disabilities.

Billy Monger

After great success in karting, Billy Monger was competing at Donington in British F4 in 2017. In race three he collided with a slow moving car and his legs were buried in the wreckage. He was extracted and airlifted to hospital, but unfortunately had to have his legs amputated.

But this didn’t break Billy Whizz’s spirit. With the help of hand controls, Billy returned to single seaters in the 2018 British F3 championship, scoring four podiums and two pole positions to end the season sixth in the standings.

Billy moved up to EuroFormula the following year, where he achieved the seemingly impossible in a wet Pau Grand Prix. Making a clever call to pit for wets on the formation lap, Billy rose through the field to third then held his nerve in the tricky conditions to win after the two leaders collided.

You’ll see Billy as part of Channel 4’s F1 coverage, and he’s expressed interest in joining the new Extreme E off-road electric series for next year. I certainly hope this happens as Monger is one of the most inspiring individuals you could ever know and he deserves to race.

Nic Hamilton

The first thing you’d think of is that he’s the brother of a certain seven-time F1 world champion. But the younger Hamilton has been making a name for himself for years.

Nic has had cerebral palsy since birth, resulting in physical impairments his whole life. But having initially gotten a taste for competition on video games (long before Esports was in the mainstream), he started competing in the BTCC-supporting Renault Clio Cup and then in European Touring Cars.

2019 however was when he finally got to where I feel he belonged, British Touring Cars. Seeing someone with cerebral palsy in the headline races on a terrestrial TV channel is incredibly uplifting to witness.

Nathalie McGloin

McGloin is a British racing driver who is also a tetraplegic. She injured her spine in a road traffic accident as a teenager and has been competing in the Porsche Sprint Challenge against able bodied men. She’s the only disabled woman in the whole of the UK to hold a race and rally licence in the UK, and competes with radial hand controls that she pushes forward to brake and backward to accelerate, meaning she steers with one hand at all times!

Not only has she managed many podium finishes in the Porsche championship (including an outright victory at Silverstone in 2018), she’s also the President of the FIA Disability and Accessibility Commission. Definitely deserving of a place on this list.

If you haven't already, I'd also strong encourage you to watch the documentary Driven: The Billy Monger Story (BBC iPlayer).

team red bull f1 card driving on a race track

If casual driving is more your speed, you might like to check-out Scope's information and advice pages on all things driving. If you ever have any questions or thoughts about anything related to disabled motoring, you're also welcome to post here in the Motability, Blue Badges, and disabled motoring category.

Will you be watching the 2021 British Grand Prix this afternoon? Do you drive? Do you enjoy driving? Do you think there's enough recognition of disabled drivers? Let us know your thoughts

National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her


  • cupcake88
    cupcake88 Posts: 1,304 Pioneering
    No I don’t watch it but my partner is there now watching it he went to the Grand Prix for the weekend . He said it’s been so hot he’s got sun burnt but he’s been having a good time and got a new hat . My partner loves the Grand Prix x 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,499 Disability Gamechanger
    I can imagine there'll be a lot of sunburnt faces from this weekend @cupcake88! I'm glad he's having a good time :) 

    National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her

  • rubin16
    rubin16 Community member, Scope Member Posts: 794 Disability Gamechanger
    I've just been watching it as love F1. Lewis hamilton is amazing, was 10 seconds behind with 10 laps to go, and still managed to win. What a race.
    I have Autism, ADHD, Schizophrenia, Gilberts Syndrome and Crohn's Disease and have knowledge in these areas.

  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 14,983 Disability Gamechanger
    Nice article - I like to read about anyone who does what they love doing despite physical or psychological problems getting in the way but I especially like driving so enjoyed reading this.

    Are there any good drivers with a non-physical impairment that affects their driving ability which they have managed to overcome?

    I don't watch Grand Prix but I do love driving. I go out for a drive every day as I find it therapeutic and good for my mental health. I think it is my only real hobby!

    I like the sentence about impairment often being unnoticeable if it was not pointed out beforehand. People who I have driven with said that they wouldn't know I had any issues unless I told them. Also interestingly I have done some driving on tracks (only as a real amateur, with an instructor!!) and I was really worried about what form my issues would take while there, only to find out I was absolutely fine as I was concentrating too much on the driving!
  • Lisatho11987777
    Lisatho11987777 Scope Member Posts: 5,911 Disability Gamechanger
    I love driving and cars but not realy interested in cars racing racing round a track lol I cover my face most of the time because of the speed thry drive ha ha 
  • MarkM88
    MarkM88 Community member Posts: 3,127 Connected
    Sad times for me. When I was growing up my dad used to force me to watch it when it was on even though I had no interest, so I certainly have no interest in it now. 
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    How did I miss this thread 

    I'm a massive f1 fan and watch every race 

    I bet Lewis gets slammed by many for the crash yesterday but what a performance after paying his time penalty to come back and win 

    British driver brings it hone 

    Well done to the other British drivers too great to see 3 of them in the top 20 

    I have nothing but admiration for billy monger too he also did a charity triathlon 

    I used to drive and it is one of the things that makes me feel more disabled than anything not being able to drive now 
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