Formula 1 News

Williams appoints female development driver

The 29 year-old-Scot, Susie Wolff, will be the second woman to join a Formula One team in just over a month. The first was Maria de Villota who joined Marussia as a test driver.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012

LONDON, April 11, 2012 (AFP) - Williams said on Wednesday that they have appointed Susie Wolff as a development driver, making her the second woman to join a Formula One team in just over a month.

The appointment was approved by the Williams' board, of which Wolff's husband, Toto, is a member.

He sat out of the selection process, the team said.Team principal Frank Williams said the 29-year-old Scot, who races in the German touring car championship, was a "talented, successful and highly professional racing driver who competes in one of the world's most fiercely-contested series".

Susie Wolff

He added: "Susie will join Williams as a development driver, in which capacity she will assist us with the development of our simulator and other technical challenges."

She would also participate in some aerodynamic and full-track testing of its FW34 F1 championship car as well as attending a number of races.Wolff's new role follows an announcement in early March that Spaniard Maria De Villota, daughter of former F1 driver and British Formula One Series Champion Emilio de Villota, had joined Marussia as one of their test drivers.

De Villota has raced in a variety of single-seater and sports car categories, including Spanish F3, the Daytona 24 Hours, the Euroseries 3000 and Superleague Formula Championship.

She also has prior experience of a Formula One cockpit, having received a test drive courtesy of the team formerly known as Lotus Renault F1 Team at Paul Ricard in August of last year, where she achieved 300kms of running.

Wolff said: "I hope to demonstrate women can play a role at the highest levels of motorsport. I shall be working closely with the team on its social responsibility programme in the areas of education and road safety."

Two women have previously raced in Formula 1: Italians Maria Teresa de Filippis, who competed in three races in 1958, coming 10th in the Belgian Grand Prix, and Lella Lombardi, who drove in the mid-1970s. She came sixth in the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix.

Britain's Divina Galica in 1976 and 1978, South African Desire Wilson in 1980, and Giovanna Amati, of Italy, in 1992 have also driven in Formula One but failed to qualify.

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