HANGING UP HER RACING BOOTS: Former Williams F1 test driver and the only female to race in F1 practice sessions in two decades, retired from motor racing. Image: AFP / Mal Fairclough
London, England - Susie Wolff has announced her retirement from motor racing, admitting her F1 dream will 'never happen'.
The 32-year-old from Scotland has been a Williams test driver since 2012, working on the simulator and even becoming the first female in two decades to drive in official practice sessions at grands prix.
New challenges lie ahead
Former DTM driver Wolff, whose husband is the Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, had hoped to push into a racing role in F1, but her career took a knock earlier in 2015 when Williams appointed Adrian Sutil as the official reserve driver.
Wolff said: "I am now closing this chapter but looking forward to new challenges in the future."
Williams team deputy Claire Williams commented: "We want to thank her for all her efforts and wish her the very best for her future endeavours."
F1 dream crushed
She had been pushing to become the first woman in decades to race in F1, but earlier in 2015 was overlooked by Williams as the British team appointed a new official reserve driver.
"At 13, the dream and the goal became formula one," Wolff, whose husband is the Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, wrote in a blog at the Huffington Post.
She said:"I wanted and fought very hard to make it onto that starting grid but the events at the start of this year and the current environment in F1 the way it is, it isn't going to happen.
"My gut feeling tells me it is time to move on. Time to explore new challenges and push myself in new environments. As a sportsperson it is always difficult to know when to stop but for me, this journey has come to an end."
Women have future in F1
Wolff explained that although it will not be her, she thinks a woman will eventually race again in F1, ending the currently 23-year wait since Giovanna Amati attempted to qualify for GP's in 1992.
"Do I think F1 is ready for a competitive female racing driver that can perform at the highest level? Yes," she said.
"Do I think it is achievable as a woman? Most definitely. Do I think it will happen soon? Sadly no."
She said the biggest problems are that not enough girls are karting, and that they are lacking a "clear role model".
Wolff said: "These issues I want to address, I want to give something back and help the next generation. I dared to be different, I want to inspire others to do the same."