Susie Wolff signed on as first female test driver for Williams F1 team
For those of you who thought of motor racing as being an exclusive domain of male racers, think again. There have been instances in the past though few and far between but Danica Patrick was associated with IndyCar and NASCAR while Vanina Ickx took part in the Le Mans not once but seven times besides Sabine Schmitz and Natacha Gachnang. Now it is Susie Wolff’s turn, who is hired as Development Driver for Williams F1 Team.
Susie’s job will be to assist the team get ready for the soon to be held Grand Prix. While the name Wolff does sound familiar, it is so because Susie’s husband Toto Wolff is board member and part owner of the Williams Team.
Williams Team has been synonymous with Grand Prix and motor racing since the 1960s. Williams employs about 500 persons at its campus in Oxfordshire from where they design and produce Formula 1 racing cars that takes part in every GP racing event. During 2010, they took part in 19 races.
The Bahrain Grand Prix is scheduled for April 22. Williams Director – Toto Wolff will be instrumental in taking the team to Bahrain in the absence of Sir Frank Williams and the recently departed Chairman Adam Par.
Susie Wolff appointed Development Driver for the Williams F1 Team
The Williams F1 Team today confirmed that Susie Wolff will join the team as its Development Driver.
Born in Scotland, Susie Wolff has had the classic racing career, beginning in karting and then moving to junior single-seater series and was twice nominated for the prestigious Young Driver of the Year Award before moving up to DTM. In 2012, Susie will contest her seventh season in DTM.
Frank Williams, Team Principal of the Williams F1 Team, said, “Susie is a talented, successful and highly professional racing driver who competes in one of the world’s most fiercely-contested racing series. Susie will join Williams as a Development Driver, in which capacity she will assist us with the development of our simulator and other technical challenges. Susie will also undertake some aerodynamic testing of the FW34 and a full track test in the coming months. Susie will also attend a number of races with us. I should add that, as Susie is married to Toto Wolff, a Director of Williams, her appointment was carefully considered and then approved by the Board, with Toto recusing himself from the process.”
Susie Wolff said, “I would like to thank Sir Frank for giving me this opportunity both on and off the track. I must also thank Mercedes Benz AMG and HWA for supporting me to take up this new experience with Williams. Formula One is the ultimate challenge for any racing driver and it offers me the chance both to apply and to improve the skills I have developed racing in DTM. In return I shall be offering some of my own technical insight and experience – coming from a different discipline – and helping the team engage with its partners. I hope also to demonstrate that women can play a role at the highest levels of motorsport and I shall be working closely with the team on its social responsibility programme in the areas of education and road safety.”
Bernie Ecclestone, Chief Executive of Formula One, welcomed the announcement: “If Susie is as quick in a car as she looks good out of a car then she will be a massive asset to any team and on top of that she is very intelligent. I am really looking forward to having her in Formula One.”