WOMAN OF STEEL IN A MAN’S F1 WORLD

Irvine beats a path that other women are now following. Photo THE PEAK

One woman stands tall in the cut-throat world of F1, even in the midst of a family ordeal

IAN DE COTTA

WITH TEARS welling, Sonia Irvine chokes up, draws back and sobs. It is a vulnerable moment, and totally unexpected.

Moments earlier, the five-foot-nine blonde appeared at the foyer of the Conrad Centennial Singapore Hotel at 6pm sharp. Irvine had come to meet us because her minder was stuck in a traffic jam. It is a smart call because, in keeping to her schedule, she is sending a powerful image to support her credentials.

The Irishwoman operates in a multi-billion-dollar industry and timing is everything. It can mean the difference between cutting lucrative deals and losing out on them. And Irvine was a picture of one ready to deal, as she sat down for a chat with The Peak for a glimpse into her world.

She is in a black power suit, a Victoria Beckham crepe sheath dress with just the right dose of decolette. For good measure, the 51-year-old is wearing stilettos and the package is both intimidating and stunning. It is an armour that Irvine uses to good effect, as she has been getting a piece of the US$4 billion (S$5.6 billion) Formula 1 action since 2003.

This article first appeared in The Peak. Read the rest of the story here: Nerves of Steel: Amber Lounge’s Sonia Irvine