Williams Development Driver Susie Wolff recovered from an early spin to notch up 50 laps at the wheel of the Williams FW36, during the second day of Formula 1 testing in Barcelona, and declared that she is now ready for her first exposure to Formula 1 Free Practice which she is earmarked to partake in during the British Grand Prix weekend at Silverstone.
Speaking to the media after ending her day fifth on the timing sheets, at Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya, Wolff said, “The team did a really good job preparing me and we got the most from the day. That was the most important thing because we need to be ready.”
Although Wolff tested for Williams last year in July, this was her first taste of the all new V6 turbo powered F1 cars. She explained, “I had a programme to run through. It was a difficult start to the day. It is a different car to drive than last year. It was a steep learning curve. The afternoon ran much better.”
“I feel like I have a lot of hard work ahead of me to get ready for the free practice sessions because the car is very different to drive. I got good laps in today [Wednesday], a lot of laps and time in the car does help because the driving style is different.”
“I didn’t look at the timesheets. I had my own personal targets that I was set by the team. They had their expectations of what I should achieve on each tyre set and that was my goal.”
As for a race seat on the Formula 1 grid for 2015, Wolff said, “It’s definitely too early to say. I am a very proud to be part of this team. I have a great opportunity and I have to prove myself. And keep doing a good job.”
“Of course it is the dream of every driver to be on the starting grid but it’s a tough sport and there are many good drivers trying and I’m one of those drivers trying.”
Wolff believes the time is fast approaching when a woman will be on the Formula 1 grid, “The way the sport is going – the cars are less physical. It’s still going to be tough to get in but it’s tough for a man or a woman because there are such limited spaces. But I think it will happen.”
Giovanna Amati was the last woman to take part in a Formula 1 race weekend as a driver, in 1992, when she failed to qualify her Brabham for the first three races of that season.
The most succesful woman driver in Formula 1 was the late Lella Lombardi whose Formula 1 career spanned 1974 to 1976 whereupon she entered 17 grands prix, qualifying for and racing in 12 and scoring half a point in the controversial and tragedy struck 1975 Spanish Grand Prix. (GP247)
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