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Susie Wolff to retire from motorsport: "I achieved my dream of driving an F1 car"

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Susie Wolff to retire from motorsport: "I achieved my dream of driving an F1 car"
Nov 4, 2015, 9:26 AM

Williams’ test and development driver Susie Wolff will retire from driving at the end of the 2015 season, she announced today.

Williams’ test and development driver Susie Wolff will retire from driving at the end of the 2015 season, she announced today.

She signs off saying that F1 is ready for a woman driver but questioning where that woman will come from, as too few are climbing the ladder.

Wolff joined Williams in April 2012 and was made the team’s official test driver at the start of this year.

Susie Wolff

During her time at the Grove-based squad, Wolff took part in two FP1 sessions in 2014 at Silverstone and Hockenheim, which made her the first female driver to take part in a Grand Prix weekend since Giovanna Amati drove for Brabham in qualifying for the 1992 Brazilian Grand Prix.

The 32-year-old Scottish driver also drove in FP1 at the 2015 Spanish and British Grand Prix and took part in a number of test and straight-line speed sessions. Her final competitive outing will be at the Race of Champions, which is taking place in London later this month.

Wolff said: “I’d like to thank Williams for the opportunity they have given me over the last few years, which has allowed me to achieve my dream of driving a Formula 1 car.

Susie Wolff

“It has been great to work with everyone at the team, both at Grove and trackside, and I’d like to thank everyone who has been part of my journey at Williams. I am now closing this chapter but looking forward to new challenges in the future.”

William’s deputy team principal, Claire Williams, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Susie over the years and see her develop as a driver within the team. Her feedback and knowledge of the car has been an important part our recent development and we will be sorry to see her go.

“We want to thank her for all her efforts and wish her the very best for her future endeavours. We will of course be supporting both Susie and Felipe Massa at the Race of Champions, and hope Susie has a great weekend to mark the last time we see her race.”

Susie Wolff Toto Wolff

After climbing the UK single-seater ladder, which included a nomination for the BRDC McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year in 2003, Wolff spent seven years racing for Mercedes in the DTM.

Writing for the Huffington Post, Wolff, who achieved a DTM career best of two seventh places and 13th in the championship standings in 2010, described racing in the German touring car series as “my big break.”

She wrote: “It was my chance. I seized the opportunity and took on the challenge. It led to not only seven great years, but even more important, it led me to meeting a man who believed in my dreams, who pushed me to be the best I could be and who continues to inspire me each day. A man I am now lucky to call my husband.”

Wolff explained that she does not believe a woman will race in F1 any time in the near future, not because they are not talented enough, but because there are not enough young girls currently involved in karting.

She wrote: “Do I think F1 is ready for a competitive female racing driver that can perform at the highest level? Yes. Do I think it is achievable as a woman? Most definitely.

“Do I think it will happen soon? Sadly no. We have two issues, not enough young girls starting in karting at a young age and no clear role model. Sometimes you just have to see it to believe it.”

Susie Wolff

Wolff also announced that she is setting up a new initiative with the Motor Sports Association (MSA), with the aim of encouraging more women to consider motorsport as a career and supporting those who do.

She wrote: “I dared to be different, I want to inspire others to do the same.”
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Series Formula 1
Teams Williams