Thursday, 8 January 2015

Special Feature: Susie Wolff – From first Formula One test in 2012 to Williams Martini Racing’s Test and Reserve Driver in 2015

(© Ben Johnston 2014)

It has been an incredible journey for Susie Wolff in recent years. The 33 year old from Oban, Scotland began her motor racing career in go-karts at the age of eight, competing against future Formula One stars, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg before making the step up to the F3 championship.

Following a disappointing early end to her time in Formula 2, Susie moved up the Formula Renault championship in  2002 and the following year she picked up her first ever podium finish in the British Formula Renault championship.

In 2003 and 2004, Susie made history as she became the first female driver to be nominated for the McLaren Autosport Young Driver Award. In the Winter of 2005, Wolff was offered the chance to test for Mercedes Benz in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) which resulted in a contract offer for the 2006 season.

Following seven seasons in the German Touring Car Championship, Susie decided to it was time for a new challenge and in 2012, Wolff become Williams development driver working alongside their race drivers Pastor Maldonado, Bruno Senna and test driver Valtteri Bottas.

At the end of 2012, Susie drove a Formula One car for the first time ever at the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire driving for Williams, and in 2013, following the test, the Grove based outfit asked the Scottish driver to step up her involvement with the team and as a result of her enhanced role she drove the teams 2013 car becoming the first of their drivers to do so.

Last season, Susie made history becoming the first female driver in over 20 years to take part in a Formula One race weekend when she drove for the team in Free Practice One at both the British and German Grand Prix.

At the end of last year, it was announced that Williams Martini Racing’s Test and Reserve driver Felipe Nasr will drive for the Sauber F1 Team alongside Marcus Ericsson while Susie was promoted to the role of Test and Reserve driver ahead of the 2015 Formula One season.

Wolff will drive the 2015 FW37 at the second winter test which takes place at the Barcelona Circuit De Catalunya in Spain on one of the four days.

The teams will test in Barcelona from February 19 – 22.

(Williams Martini Racing Team)

© Ben Johnston 2015

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