After Hockenheim success, Williams tester Susie Wolff is likely to take part in further race weekends this season
Susie Wolff’s impressive performance in practice at the German GP has raised the prospect of her being given another outing before the end of the year. She was due to get two runs in practice sessions this season, at the British and German GPs, but at Silverstone she managed only four laps before suffering an engine failure.
In Germany, though, despite a brief scare when the car became stuck in gear on her installation lap, the 31-year-old completed a full programme, lapping just 0.227 seconds slower than Williams teammate Felipe Massa.
The two cars were not of comparable spec, since the drivers were comparing different aerodynamic parts, but Wolff’s performance raised her stock within the team. If she gets another chance, it will most likely be at the season nale in Abu Dhabi. But Williams must juggle their obligations to reserve driver Felipe Nasr, to whom they have committed to give more outings, as well as race drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas. Wolff said: “As soon as you come into the pitlane and nish the session, the next question is, ‘Okay, well, when do you get back in the car?’ That’s one of the toughest things in F1 – getting more opportunities. But the team were happy with my performance. So that was an important step in the right direction and now I have to see what else is possible. It will be difficult to get any more time in the car, but that’s next on my to-do list.”
Wolff continues to state that her ambition is “to do a Formula 1 race – I’m not even saying a season, because I’m realistic. I know how tough it is to get myself into a race seat.”
But she insists she has now done enough to make her believe that this is a realistic ambition and that she could do a decent job if she got the chance.
“Actions speak louder than words,” she said. “I’m often asked: am I good enough? Are women good enough? Are they strong enough? I wanted to show that they are. When the helmet’s on I’m no different from anyone else. I had to show that and I missed my chance at Silverstone, so it was so important for me to do the performance and let the rest take care of itself. I feel ready but it is a tough environment and getting the chance is not going to be easy.”
Wolff admits, though, that at the age of 31, time is not on her side And she may well be beaten to the record of being the rst woman to race in F1 since Lella Lombardi at the 1976 Austrian GP. Sauber are putting a lot of effort into preparing former IndyCar racer Simona De Silvestro for a potential drive next season