Susie Wolff eyes F1 super license

Susie Wolff has vowed to continue her “step by step” progress towards the F1 grid.

Last year just a development driver, Williams has ramped up the 30-year-old Scot’s programme for 2013, and earlier this month she was bestowed the honour of debuting the new FW35 during an aerodynamic test. Revealing that Bernie Ecclestone is “massively pushing” for a woman to join the exclusively-male grid in the near future, Wolff said her next goal is to obtain an FIA super license.

That is the mandatory credential to be allowed to drive during a grand prix weekend, including holding the status as an official stand-in ‘reserve’ driver.

“Things are going well,” Wolff, whose husband is the Mercedes shareholder and boss Toto Wolff, said. “I think we are going step by step and, of course, the next step will be to get my super license,” she is quoted by Brazil’s Totalrace.

“I don’t want to come out and just say ‘Yes, I want to be on the grid next year’,” insisted Wolff. “My plan is to get the license, have more time in the car, help the team as much as I can and just keep going step by step.”


Susie Wolff to debut Williams’ 2013 car

Susie Wolff will give Williams’ 2013 car, the FW35, its track debut next month.

The famous British team has already announced that the Renault-powered single seater will not be at the opening test of the official pre-season at Jerez next week. Instead, the car will only be driven by race drivers Valtteri Bottas and Pastor Maldonado at the second test, in Barcelona.

But before that, Scottish female driver Wolff, a Williams development driver last year, will be giving the FW35 its actual track debut, at Spain’s Idiada facility.

The Grove based team revealed the news as it announced that Susie Wolff, whose husband and Williams shareholder Toto Wolff has switched to Mercedes, is staying put for 2012.

Williams said: “Susie will be the first to get behind the wheel of the FW35 when she drives the car at Idiada next month, and will do the majority of aerodynamic testing this season.”

With Susie and her husband now working for rival teams, Toto Wolff this week admitted he has mixed feelings as he starts work as Mercedes’ new 30 per cent co-owner and director.

“As a shareholder, you have a commercial obligation as well as a moral one,” he told Austrian ORF television this week, referring to Williams.

“There are many people who are dear to my heart, including Frank Williams and his daughter (Claire), and many others,” he said.

“You cannot say, one day to the next, ‘Now I take off one shirt and put on another. You can’t, and I don’t want to.

“Now it’s a matter of structure, and avoiding conflicts of interest,” he said.

Whether or not he eventually sells his Williams shares is unknown.

“That means looking at all options and alternatives, whether Frank Williams buys them back, any of the current investors buys them back or I hold them as long as I think it is acceptable and feasible from a corporate point of view,” he told F1 business journalist Christian Sylt, according to the Telegraph.


Susie Wolff hoping for more F1 testing

Susie Wolff has played down expectations her next step in F1 is a spot on the grid.Admitting it was an emotional moment in the wake of the injuries sustained earlier in 2012 by Marussia’s female test driver Maria de Villota, Wolff got her first taste of a grand prix car on Wednesday at the wheel of last year’s Williams.

The British team’s 29-year-old development driver, a racer in the German touring car championship DTM and married to team official Toto Wolff, drove the FW33 during a sponsor’s day at the damp Silverstone circuit. Wolff insists it wasn’t a “show run”.

“Williams would never just put someone in a car as a show run to make some publicity,” he is quoted by the Scottish Sun. “The team was very conscious the day had to go well and I was very aware if I wanted more opportunities then I had to do well.”

But the rarity of her feat was not lost on the media, with only three other women in the last ten years – including the seriously injured de Villota – having tested F1 cars.

Wolff is realistic: “I am not going to tell you I will be on the F1 grid next year. I am not going to dream, or start running before I can walk. This was a very important step in the right direction and I hope I am on the path to doing much more.

“I hope I have done enough at this stage to prove I can be of assistance to this team. Hopefully I can get some more tests,” she added.


Susie Wolff still on track after de Villota crash

Susie Wolff is sure she will get more chances to prove her skills in an F1 car.

Some insiders saw the serious injuries sustained by Maria de Villota during a recent straight-line test for Marussia as a major setback for F1’s other female driver. But Wolff, who is a test driver for Williams, remains scheduled to drive the FW34 in October.

Recently, Wolff conducted a straight-line aerodynamic test for the British team.

“I was sick when I heard about Maria’s accident,” she is quoted by the Kolner Express newspaper.

But, while also a DTM driver, she said her own F1 job remains on track.

“I am looking forward to seeing in October how close I can get to the level expected of a top driver,” said Wolff.

She denied the Williams gig is a PR stunt, or just because her husband Toto is a Williams co-owner.

“Although he’s my husband and biggest supporter, he’s also my biggest critic. He even said he wasn’t sure if he wanted to see me in a Formula One car,” said Wolff. “I have to show them what I can do, especially Frank Williams. He would never let anyone in his car that he doesn’t think deserves a chance.”

So is she dreaming of lining up on the grid any time soon?

“No, at the moment that’s unrealistic,” said Wolff, 29. “If things go well, I’ll get more opportunities to sit in the car. But I do think that a woman will be there (in F1) in the next ten years.”


Susie Wolff to test Williams next week

Susie Wolff is gearing up for her first Williams test next week.

She revealed to Austrian broadcaster ORF that she is scheduled to drive the Renault-powered FW34 in a straight-line test outside of Barcelona on Tuesday. 29-year-old Scot and DTM driver Wolff, nee Stoddart, was appointed as a test driver this year for Williams, the famous British team that is co-owned by her Austrian husband Toto Wolff.

She said her second outing will also be for an aerodynamic test.

“I’m lucky that I’m very good at driving straight,” she joked.

Wolff revealed that she expects to enjoy a ‘real’ circuit test in the 2012 Williams later this year.

“I’m ready and I’m waiting but I think it won’t be until October,” she said. The regular young drivers’ test is scheduled for Abu Dhabi in November. “I still have some time to prepare my neck,” Wolff explained, smiling: “I think in the future I’ll have to either wear a scarf all the time or my hair very long, my neck will be so big.”