Susie Wolff first woman F1 driver in 22 years

Last updated 07:59 04/07/2014
Susie Wolff
Reuters
BREAKING THROUGH: Susie Wolff this weekend will become the first woman to drive in a F1 grand prix event in 22 years.

Relevant offers

Motorsport

Formula One summer break? Max Verstappen gets learner plates on Sebastian Vettel wins Hungarian Grand Prix for Ferrari, Jules Bianchi Jules Bianchi family join Formula One drivers for Hungarian Grand Prix tribute Casey Stoner crashes into barrier, 'they're a lot harder than they look' Mitch Evans, Richie Stanaway off the pace at Hungary round of GP2 championship McLaren's push comes to shove for Fernando Alonso Mitch Evans, Richie Stanaway struggle at GP2 series feature race in Hungary Lewis Hamilton secures pole position for Hungarian Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton fastest in practice at Hungaroring Sergio Perez unhurt after crash-landing upside down in Hungary

Susie Wolff will accelerate out of the Silverstone pitlane this weekend to become the first woman driver in 22 years to take part in a grand prix event.

It is a big step for the 31-year-old Scot, who replaces Williams' Finnish regular Valtteri Bottas for first practice at the British Grand Prix, and a day she has been working towards for years.

The 90-minute session will be the closest she has come to ending what is now a 38-year wait for a woman to actually race with the men, but it could also be as far as she gets in that ambition.

There are no plans for a race drive, but Wolff aims to show at least that the only barriers for women aspiring to enter the sport should be the same as for the men - the metal ones ringing the circuit.

''I think tomorrow is a really big day for Susie,'' deputy team principal Claire Williams, daughter of founder Frank, told reporters.

''She goes out there with her peers in a competitive situation.

"Yes we are doing a lot of setup work over long runs with heavy fuel loads and stuff, but I still think you will be able to judge her more than you have been able to in the past.''

Wolff, wife of Mercedes motorsport head Toto who is also a Williams shareholder, made her test debut for the team at Silverstone last year.

She will be working through the same programme Bottas - who finished third at the previous race in Austria - would have carried out.

PROVIDING FEEDBACK

That means preparing the car for the second and third practice sessions and Saturday qualifying and providing feedback for engineers.

''She's got to deliver technically, which she's done,'' Williams said.

''If she hadn't have done that we wouldn't have allowed her to progress up into the test driver role last year and then the Friday sessions this year.

''We're not running her tomorrow to see how good she is,'' added Williams.

Fellow drivers welcomed her involvement.

Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 world champion who is a race favourite for Mercedes in his home grand prix, said Wolff was one of the few women he could recall competing against in junior series.

''We raced Formula Renault together. She was great. We shared a podium together a couple of times. I think she's done remarkably well in her career,'' said the Briton.

''It's going to be really cool, I think, to see her in a Formula One car.''

Italian Lella Lombardi, in 1976, was the last woman to race in Formula One. The last to take part in any stage of a grand prix weekend was Italian Giovanna Amati who tried and failed to qualify with Brabham in 1992.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your favourite V8 Supercars driver?

Scott McLaughlin

Shane Van Gisbergen

Fabian Coulthard

Jamie Whincup

Mark Winterbottom

Craig Lowndes

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Blog