PEOPLE: JUDITH GRIGGS
Name: Judith Griggs
Griggs had no real interest in motor sport until she began working as a lawyer with the Australian Grand Prix Office in Adelaide in 1986. Three years later she was approached by Bernie Ecclestone in the paddock in Australia and asked her if she would like to work for his FOCA organization in London. She jumped at the chance and a few months later she relocated to England and began reorganizing Ecclestone's business empire in the form of Formula One Promotions and Administration, the forerunner of the current Formula One Holdings.
The restructuring took several years but in 1993 it was finished and Ecclestone offered her the opportunity to go back to Australia to be chief executive of the new Australian Grand Prix Corporation to stage the race in Melbourne. She accepted, admitting that once you have been involved in F1 racing it is very difficult to give it up: it gets into your blood.
The task she faced in Melbourne was an enormous one and it was not without problems, notably from the very vocal protest group Save Albert Park which set out to stop the race happening. It was a delicate political task but Griggs fulfilled the role brilliantly. The race is now established as one of the most popular events on the calendar, although Griggs resigned and moved back to Europe in 1998.
She has since worked for Paddy McNally's Allsport Management organization in Geneva, Switzerland, the company looking after all aspects of trackside advertising, the VIP Paddock Club activities and other commercial aspects of the sport.