Wolff sets grand prix goal


Wolff sets grand prix goal

Susie Wolff is hoping the next evolution of her Formula One career will see her go on to compete in a grand prix.

As part of her expanded development driver role with Williams, Wolff will this season become the first woman in 22 years to take part in an F1 event.

The plan is for Wolff to run at Silverstone and Hockenheim - two tracks the 31-year-old Scot knows well - in the first practice sessions ahead of the British and German Grands Prix in July.

Not since Giovanna Amati, who failed to qualify in the 1992 Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos for Brabham, has a woman driven an F1 car over the course of a race weekend.

Beyond that, Wolff naturally hopes she will get the opportunity to go head to head with the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in a race.

"The plan just now is (to drive in practice) for the British Grand Prix and the German Grand Prix," said Wolff, speaking to the Press Association.

"I've driven the car at Silverstone (in a test) last year so I have a bit of experience with the track, and Hockenheim I know well from my time in German touring cars.

"So for me, it's two great races to be a part of.

"If you can take part in the Friday practice sessions, then of course you have to be looking at doing an actual race.

"I said the minute I joined Williams I didn't want to run before I could walk.

"For me it's about doing a good job each step of the way and if I do that in the practice sessions then the next natural progression will be taking part in a race."

It has been 38 years since a woman last did so, with Italian Lella Lombardi finishing 12th for Brabham in the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix.

The only other woman to compete was another Italian, Maria Teresa di Filippis, who drove a Maserati in three races in 1958.

Wolff added: "I've been made aware of the history of it, but more importantly for me is that we've done it in a chronological way.

"I joined two years ago as a development driver, did all the tests, and this is now the next natural step in my progression in the team.

"For me, it's more important to be doing a good job and contributing to the team and to be given the chance, not because of the history, but because of merit and the job I do for the team."

Since being signed up by Williams, Wolff has played an integral part in the development of the Grove-based marque's last three cars.

That includes the FW36 that will take to the track in Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix in less than three weeks' time.

Williams' chief technical officer Pat Symonds believes Wolff has more than earned her chance.

Symonds said: "Susie has become a valued member of our driver line-up and 2014 will see her take on more responsibilities as we seek to make a strong step forward in performance.

"Susie has demonstrated a natural talent for developing a car and providing strong feedback and these sort of characteristics will be key this season as teams seek to quickly understand and refine the radically overhauled 2014 cars."

The news of Wolff's drive comes just 10 days after Sauber announced Simona De Silvestro would become an affiliated driver with the team, working her way towards gaining the necessary superlicence to compete in the sport.

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