DTM veteran Susie Wolff has been signed by the Williams F1 team as its development driver, the Grove team has announced today. Wolff is the wife of one of the team’s major shareholders and directors, ‘Toto’ Wolff, whom she married last year. The team
not surprisingly insisted that he removed himself from the decision-making process to hire her.
The Scottish racer is set to enter her seventh championship season of DTM competition with Mercedes-Benz, and the role with Williams will be her first in an open-wheeler series since she competed in the British Formula 3 championship in 2005.
The team confirmed that, between her regular DTM commitments, she will perform simulator work for the team, and will later undertake straight-line tests in the team’s FW34 challenger, along with a proper circuit test session. She will also attend several Grands Prix and work with the team to gain more experience in its day-to-day operations.
“Susie is a talented, successful and highly professional racing driver who competes in one of the world’s most fiercely-contested racing series,” Williams’ team founder Sir Frank Williams is quoted as saying in the team’s media release.
“I should add that, as Susie is married to Toto Wolff, a Director of Williams, her appointment was carefully considered and then approved by the Board, with Toto recusing himself from the process,” he added.
“I would like to thank Sir Frank for giving me this opportunity both on and off the track,” Susie Wolff added.
“Formula One is the ultimate challenge for any racing driver and it offers me the chance both to apply and to improve the skills I have developed racing in DTM. I hope also to demonstrate that women can play a role at the highest levels of motorsport and I shall be working closely with the team on its social responsibility programme in the areas of education and road safety.”
Wolff is now the second female racing driver to secure a full-time with a Formula 1 team this year. Spanish racing driver María de Villota joined Marussia Racing as a test driver in the pre-season.