Susie Wolff will remain as the Williams F1 Team’s Development Driver for a third season, with the team announcing she will have an expanded role that will feature two Friday practice outings in the outfit’s FW36 racer.
Wolff will therefore become the first woman in 21 years to officially be listed as an entrant at a Formula 1 Grand Prix.
“Susie has become a valued member of our driver line up and 2014 will see her take on more responsibilities as we seek to make a strong step forward in performance,” the team’s Chief Technical Officer, Pat Symonds, said in a media release issued today.
“Susie has demonstrated a natural talent for developing a car and providing strong feedback and these sort of characteristics will be key this season as teams seek to quickly understand and refine the radically overhauled 2014 cars.”
Wolff joined the team in 2012 following a fairly inconclusive seven-year stint in the DTM championship with Mercedes. Her role with Williams saw her assist in the development of the team’s FW34 and FW35 racers in the simulator, while also dovetailing this with a handful of test outings behind the wheel.
With her role expanded to include two FP1 outings – believed to be at the British and German Grands Prix – Wolff will become the first female driver to be entered at a Grand Prix since Giovanna Amati’s three failed attempts to qualify with the ailing Brabham team in 1992 (pictured), although the team’s claim she is ‘competing’ is perhaps a bridge too far.
“My responsibilities within the team have steadily increased as I have proved myself, culminating in the opportunity to test the car at Silverstone and conduct straight line aero tests last season.
“Competing in two FP1 sessions, alongside an additional full test day this season will be a big step and I am looking forward to the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the FW36 on a Grand Prix weekend. It’s a challenge that I will relish and it will be a great chance for me to continue assisting the team.”
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