Susie Wolff: I’m nervous but I’m ready

Susie Wolff with Williams engineers

Susie Wolff with Williams engineers

Williams Development Driver Susie Wolff is “nervous” but ready” as she prepares to break a long standing Formula 1 drought this week, when at Silverstone, she will be the first female driver in more than two decades to take part in an official Grand Prix weekend.

The the 31-year-old Scot will be driving the Williams FW36 in Friday morning practice, and intends to use the opportunity to prove that she is up to the task of joining the grid in the near future.

“What is most important for this session is the team,” Wolff, whose husband is the Williams team shareholder and Mercedes chief Toto Wolff, told Austria’s APA news agency. “But I am also ambitious. This is my chance to show what I can do. It’s an opportunity not many get and as a woman I’ve had to work even harder to earn respect.”

“This is a super, super chance. I have to show what I can do,” she insisted. I’m nervous, but you need that adrenaline,” Wolff said. “Honestly, I’m ready. The Barcelona test prepared me perfectly.

Susie Wolff ready for her big day

Susie Wolff ready for her big day

“Everyone thinks that I need to show if I am fast, but I’m not going to go on Qualifying runs. I am part of the team and I will do my programme just as Valtteri [Bottas] would have. It’s very important for me to return the car in one piece and not twenty!”

Wolff, who most recently raced in the German touring car series DTM, admitted it is her goal to eventually call herself a Formula 1 race driver.

“Clearly,” she confirmed. “But it’s not easy – I’m realistic. It’s a struggle because there are so many other talented drivers who are fighting for the same chance.”

Wolff does, however, see a couple of things in her favour, “Teams want lighter drivers, which counts in women’s favour, and physically we are catching up on the men.”

“You need to be the complete package and bring in the right amount of sponsorship,” Wolff added. “It would be a great marketing ploy to sign a woman, so you never know.

“The whole culture of the sport is changing and there are more female engineers and bosses. It’s a great time to be a woman in motor sport.” (GMM)