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Susie Wolff F1

Susie Wolff appointed MD of new all-female F1 Academy

Susie Wolff F1

Susie Wolff, former Venturi Formula E team principal, and wife of Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto, has been appointed managing director of the new all-female F1 Academy, it was confirmed today by the organisers.

The new series aims to help young female drivers move up the motorsport ladder. No woman has started a Formula One grand prix since the late Italian Lella Lombardi in 1976.

Susie Wolff is also a former racer who competed in German Touring Cars (DTM) and served as a development driver for the Williams F1 team.

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The Scot will report directly to F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali, who said: “It is fantastic news that Susie Wolff is joining the F1 Academy as Managing Director. Susie is an incredible person who understands what it takes to reach the highest levels of motorsport, both as a driver and Team Principal.

“She has a wealth of experience and first-hand knowledge that will be of huge benefit to all of us and the drivers who are on their journey to progress through the racing pyramid.

“We are committed to maximising the opportunities in our sport for anyone to reach their true potential and achieve their dreams and we believe F1 Academy is a very important part of our plans to be a more diverse and inclusive sport,” added the F1 chief.

In a statement released ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Wolff said: “The F1 Academy presents an opportunity to promote genuine change in our industry by creating the best possible structure to find and nurture female talent on their journey to the elite levels of motorsport, both on and off the racetrack.

“There is a lot of work to be done but there is also a clear determination to get this right. In doing so, I believe the F1 Academy can represent something beyond racing. It can inspire women around the world to follow their dreams and realise that with talent, passion and determination, there is no limit to what they can achieve.

“This is also the start of an important new chapter in my career, combining the experience I have developed so far with my passion for diversity and empowerment, so I would like to thank Stefano for entrusting me with a role that means as much to me personally as it does professionally,” concluded Wolff.

The inaugural season will include seven rounds with racers supporting the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, in October. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)