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2014-02-24 13:17

FRIDAY RACE SEAT: Williams has announced that Susie Wolff will drive in two Friday practice sessions in 2014. Wolff will be the first woman to drive in an F1 GP weekend in 22 years. Image: Williams F1 team

London, England - Susie Wolff will become the first woman driver in 22 years to take part in a Formula 1 GP weekend. Williams said the rookie would be on track for the team in two free practice sessions.

The team said the 31-year-old wife of Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff, a former Williams executive director, would remain development driver in an expanded role that would include two Friday outings.

Williams did not say which race weekends Wolff would appear.


Wolff said: "I'm grateful for the support and belief Williams continue to show in me and 2014 promises to be very important in my career.

"Competing in two FP1 (first free practice) sessions and full test day will be a big step and I am looking forward to the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the FW36 on a GP weekend."

Wolff raced for seven years in the German Touring Car (DTM) championship, took part in an official F1 test for Williams in 2013 and has conducted straight line aerodynamic tests.

She has little chance of actually racing however.  Brazilian Felipe Nasr , 21, is the team's official test and reserve driver. Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas are the two 2014 drivers.


Williams' chief technical officer Pat Symonds said Wolff had "demonstrated a natural talent for developing a car and providing strong feedback".

The last woman to take part in any stage of a GP weekend was Italian Giovanna Amati, who tried and failed to qualify with Brabham in 1992. Women are, however, involved at all levels in the paddock, from mechanics and engineers to team bosses. Monisha Kaltenborn is principal of Sauber while Claire Williams is deputy principal at the team founded by her father Frank.

Sauber appointed 25-year-old Simona de Silvestro, who has competed for four years in the US-based IndyCar series, as an affiliated driver in February 2014, with the aim of her racing in 2015.
Read more on:    williams  |  england  |  women  |  motorsport  |  racing  |  f1

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