Susie Wolff is no stranger to Formula One having tested for Williams in October 2012 and again in February 2013, when she was the first driver to get behind the wheel of the British constructors 2013 challenger, the FW35. But this weekend she made her first laps at the home of British motorsport at Silverstone.
The Scottish F1 tester will be hoping that this is another step towards a drive in Formula 1. Although she’s the wife of Mercedes boss and Williams' shareholder Toto Wolff the 30 year old is getting these opportunities because she’s proven herself in the DTM championship. She is “very aware I have to perform. But I wouldn't be here if I didn't think I was fast enough.”
Williams’ regular driver Pastor Maldonado drove the FW35 on Thursday for Pirelli to evaluate their new Formula 1 tyres before handing the car over to Wolff on Friday for the “Silverstone's Young Driver Test”, which also continued the tyre evaluation that’s become necessary following the blow outs experienced during this year’s British Grand Prix.
Other drivers and team that ran in the test included Nico Hulkenberg in the Sauber C32, who evaluated the new tyres compared to the old by saying that "There’s not a huge difference to be honest.” The new tyres combine the 2012-specification construction and the 2013 compound to make safer rubber that should still lead to exciting racing.
Williams’ development driver, Wolff was asked more questions about female drivers in F1 than about the tyres she was testing, answering “I would love to see women being successful in Formula One.” She completed 89 laps of the 3.66 mile Northamptonshire race track in front of an estimated 7,000 fans and clocked a fastest lap of 1 minute, 35.093 seconds, a little over 2 seconds slower than Sebastian Vettel, who was fastest with a 1:32.894.