Wolff gets F1 practice chance

Susie Wolff will featurs in first practice at both Silverstone and Hockenheim

Susie Wolff will featurs in first practice at both Silverstone and Hockenheim

First published in National Sport News © by

Susie Wolff will this season become the first woman in 22 years to compete in a Formula One event.

Wolff will take part in first practice before the British and German Grands Prix as part of her expanded development driver role with Williams.

The 31-year-old Scot has played an integral part in the development of the last three Williams cars, including the FW36 that will take to the track in Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix in less than three weeks' time.

Not since Giovanna Amati, who failed to qualify in the 1992 Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos for Brabham, has a woman taken part in an F1 event.

Wolff said: "The plan just now is for the British Grand Prix and the German Grand Prix.

"I've driven the car at Silverstone 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."

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

"I said the minute I joined Williams that 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."

Wolff is aware of the significance of her next challenge and believes she has earned the opportunity.

"It's not about being a woman, it's about being the absolute best you can be in the sport," she said.

"I'm grateful for the support and belief Williams continue to show in me, and 2014 promises to be a very important milestone in my career.

"My responsibilities within the team have steadily increased as I have proved myself, culminating in the opportunity to test the car at Silverstone and conduct straight-line aero tests last season.

"Competing in two FP1 sessions, alongside an additional full test day, this season will be a big step and I am looking forward to the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the car on a grand prix weekend.

"It's a challenge I will relish, and it will be a great chance for me to continue assisting the team."

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 F1 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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