Susie Wolff joins Williams as development driver

2012 F1 season

Williams has announced Susie Wolff has become one of the team’s development drivers.

Wolff (nee Stoddart) has raced in the DTM since 2006. Her best result is two seventh places scored in 2010.

Team principal Frank Williams said: “Susie is a talented, successful and highly professional racing driver who competes in one of the world?s most fiercely-contested racing series.

“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. Susie will also undertake some aerodynamic testing of the FW34 and a full track test in the coming months. Susie will also attend a number of races with us.

“I should add that, as Susie is married to Toto Wolff, a Director of Williams, her appointment was carefully considered and then approved by the Board, with Toto recusing himself from the process.”

Wolff said: “I would like to thank Sir Frank for giving me this opportunity both on and off the track. I must also thank Mercedes Benz AMG and HWA for supporting me to take up this new experience with Williams.

“Formula One is the ultimate challenge for any racing driver and it offers me the chance both to apply and to improve the skills I have developed racing in DTM.

“In return I shall be offering some of my own technical insight and experience ?ǣ coming from a different discipline ?ǣ and helping the team engage with its partners.”

Bernie Ecclestone gave his backing to the move, saying: “If Susie is as quick in a car as she looks good out of a car then she will be a massive asset to any team and on top of that she is very intelligent. I am really looking forward to having her in Formula One.”

Wolff joins Williams’ development driver line-up alongside GP3 champion Valtterri Bottas, who is driving for the team in Friday practice sessions this year.

2012 F1 season


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101 comments on Susie Wolff joins Williams as development driver

  1. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 11th April 2012, 13:48

    Seems fair enough to me. Not familiar with her credentials when it comes to racing but I imagine she holds some talent when it comes to technical insight, having been pretty involved in the DTM. Some drivers are better suited to development roles than others. Hopefully she can help them shave tenths off here and there.

  2. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 11th April 2012, 14:23

    Hoping not to sound negative or like the kind of superficial person that only judges people by their appearance, but I was wondering how you select your pictures for your articles, Keith (what with copyrights and all).

    In this particular instance, I would have expected a happier picture of Susie.

  3. Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 11th April 2012, 14:39

    *read bernie’s quote*

    *facedesk*

  4. robk23 (@robk23) said on 11th April 2012, 14:51

    I was wondering when this was going to happen given the connection. It seems this role will be limited to testing which is good as there are far more talented female racing drivers out there.

  5. nigel said on 11th April 2012, 15:08

    “If Susie is as quick in a car as she looks good out of a car then she will be a massive asset to any team and on top of that she is very intelligent. I am really looking forward to having her in Formula 1.”

    If Bernie is as untrustworthy in the boardroom as he is crass in public, then he will be a massive liability to any organisation, and on top of that, he is entirely unbelievable. I am really looking forward to having him out of F1.

  6. claudioff (@claudioff) said on 11th April 2012, 15:11

    My only concern is that it means even less time for training to Bruno Senna. A team which main ambition is to return to fight for podiums and points should give its full attention to the drivers which can delivery such things. You don´t see Red Bull/Maclaren/Ferrari given away precious training time to test drivers.

    • Banburyhammer (@banburyhammer) said on 11th April 2012, 15:52

      What the hell do you think Gary Paffett does all day?

      • Sam B (@sb360) said on 11th April 2012, 16:34

        Twitter mostly.

        • Banburyhammer (@banburyhammer) said on 11th April 2012, 22:58

          Well the point I was making, is that hes McLaren’s workhorse on the simulator. Therefore such an appointment isnt really limiting running time for the race drivers, but maximising development time.

          She isnt a standout in the DTM, but at the end of the day, they are limited prototypes, and its a fairly high standard field. Theres nothing there to say shes a bad car development driver. If she’d been employed with a view to being installed for a race, then its questionable.

          • claudioff said on 11th April 2012, 23:36

            Quoting the article:

            “Susie will also undertake some aerodynamic testing of the FW34 and a full track test in the coming months.”

            What a “full track test” means? Bruno has already lost one day at Sepang for Valtterri Bottas. How many free practices Gary Paffett had last year?

          • Klon (@klon) said on 12th April 2012, 13:57

            @claudioff

            What a “full track test” means?

            Either the Young Driver’s Test or one of these photo shoots.

  7. antonyob (@antonyob) said on 11th April 2012, 16:40

    A wollff in she clothing?

  8. Joel Holland (@jholland) said on 11th April 2012, 17:58

    Jamie Green: 29, British, 7 DTM wins and from 73 races.
    Susie Wolff: 29, British, two 7th place finishes from 61 races.

    Now, far be it from me to suggest this decision was not made based on driving ability…

    • Sherlock said on 11th April 2012, 21:29

      Maybe Jamie Green despises F1? Or whatever – don’t be so negative.

      • Joel Holland (@jholland) said on 11th April 2012, 22:34

        Yes, I’m sure Jamie Green would hate a cushy job in F1 that allowed him to continue racing in the DTM.

        And I’m not being negative, just cynical. :) I mean no harm. It makes motorsport more bearable. Good luck to Susie, I bare her no ill will.

  9. gabal said on 11th April 2012, 21:28

    Just to put things into perspective – Williams employed Kartihkeyan in that role few years back. She will probably do a straight-line aerodynamic tests and simulator work.

  10. Anti-RBR (@matt2208) said on 11th April 2012, 22:52

    Females shouldnt be driving F1 cars, there are males who can hardly drive F1 cars as it is. karthikeyan/Speed/ the list goes on. there are better drivers out there who should get these jobs. even if she i’snt driving its just because she is coppin it from someone in williams.

  11. me262 said on 12th April 2012, 1:18

    ….she looks good in Brazilian & Venezuelan sponsorship

  12. clay (@clay) said on 12th April 2012, 2:40

    Let’s be realistic – this sudden obbsession with female test drivers, in an age of no or little in-season testing, is nothing but posturing from teams looking for PR spin. Danica, love her or hate her, is the only female driver today with any runs on the board in terms of performance. Could she do as good a job as a Petrov, a De La Rosa or even someone like Massa? In my view she probably could. She at least would not be an embarrassment to whatever team put her in a car, unlike certain other drivers we’ve heard about lately…

  13. Finally, an F1 driver I can jerk to.

  14. Hot!!!

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