Susie Wolff is happy with how she performed in first practice for the German Grand Prix, after replacing Valtteri Bottas at Williams for the session.
The Scott only managed four laps during her debut race weekend session at the last round in Britain, but her run in Germany – which she expects to be her final one this year – was much more productive.
She finished in 15th place, two tenths behind Felipe Massa, and completed a total of 22 laps at the wheel of the Williams FW34. However, it was a far from easy start for Wolff.
Her car immediately suffered a sensor calibration issue, which forced her to crawl back to the pits. Fortunately it was fixable and she soon returned to the track to complete the session.
“That was a tough moment because it was immediately clear when I left the pit lane that there was a problem with the drive, and then I lost it completely at the hairpin,” she said after her first practice run.
“I then said to myself ‘okay I have to get back to the pits somehow’, because it was clear it was electronic and not an engine problem, and my big worry was turn 13 with the camber because I had no drive and was just rolling. We tried a couple of settings on the steering wheel and one of them worked.
“I stayed quite calm because at the end of the day, you’ve just got to get through it. These things are out of your control. In that moment, out on track, I said ‘no no no no no, it’s not going to finish like this’.
“I had such a good feeling for today. I think when you have that optimism and that belief that this is not the end, you just somehow know it’s going to work, and maybe I would be saying a different story now if I had stopped out on track but the truth is we got back to the pits and that was the most important thing.”
She added: “I’m happy with my performance today. My main target result was always going to be Felipe, and the team set out a programme. It was important to do a good job today because obviously with the change in the setup, taking the FRIC out, it was important to then get as much information for the team as possible.
“So I knew exactly what I had to do and I knew it was my only chance then to show what I was capable of out there, but I had a really good feeling because I was well prepared for it. I know the track very well from my DTM times, and I was just looking forward to driving the car because it’s so much fun to be out there driving.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic