Young Driver Test “next logical step” for Wolff
Wolff is the only current female driver in Formula 1 and first drove for the Grove based team last year. She was then added to their driver line-up as their development driver. The 30-year-old has previously raced in Formula 3 and DTM before moving into the Formula 1 world and she was the first to drive the Williams FW35 in a straight line test.
She has previously said that the she is hoping to drive in the Young Driver Test, which will be held at the Silverstone circuit (date yet to be confirmed), but now she has said that it “has to happen” for her to continue with the team, otherwise she is just “wasting her time.”
Talking to Reuters about the upcoming Young Driver Test she said “For me the next logical step is to do the young drivers test, and do it well, and then see what the next step is after that. In theory, I’ve got enough kilometres in the car to apply for the super-licence [needed toin F1] but there’s absolutely no point in doing that until I’m in a position where I can do something with it.”
However the Scot has yet to hear anything from the team, “They [Williams] haven’t said anything [about the Young Driver Test] but for me it has to happen.”
Wolff, who is married to Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team executive director Toto Wolff, added “If it doesn’t happen, then I’m wasting my time. It’s all for nothing. It’s got to happen. I am the development driver, so it cannot be that a young driver test comes and you don’t put your development driver in. But you never know, so let’s see.”
Some have been sceptical about how fast she will be should she drive in the test, but she responded to the critics by saying “There’s many people who think it’s going to be embarrassing for me to drive on a young driver day, because I’m going to be so far off the pace. For me, it’s incredible to hear such comments,
“I wouldn’t be doing aero tests if I hadn’t shown some kind of capability. People forget we’ve been racing at a high level for a long time. It is not like you are just plucked from obscurity and told ‘drive the F1 car’.”
Female drivers have always been the minority in Formula 1, with only five previous women racing in the sport. The most recent was Giovanna Amati who drove for Brabham in 1992. However Wolff things the time is right for a sixth female F1 driver.
“I think there’s quite a big movement just now, people want to see a woman in F1, the momentum is definitely there, people are really pushing now and asking why isn’t there a woman in F1. For me the timing is good but motorsport is a lot about talent and a little bit about timing and luck.”
She added “[F1 boss] Bernie [Ecclestone] says many things in the press and to the media but behind closed doors he’s doing a hell of a lot to help me come into F1 because he knows from a business perspective it has to happen,”
Wolff is a previous BRDC Rising Star of the Year and was a finalist in the BRDC McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year award in 2003 after she competed at the front in the Formula Renault UK series.
Image courtesy of Williams F1 Team
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his debut in the F1 paddock for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle and RumbleStripNews, as well as running a popular blog.