Susie Wolff makes F1 debut at Williams event

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Susie Wolff, Williams FW33, SIlverstone, 2012

Susie Wolff had her first run in a Williams F1 car during an event for the team’s sponsors at Silverstone today.

Wolff, who became a development driver for Williams in April, did to 50km runs in the team’s 2011 car, the FW33.

“It was incredible to experience a Formula One car for the first time,” said Wolff. “I?ve done a lot of simulator work since I joined the team but nothing compares to the exhilaration of driving the real thing.

“The conditions were a little tricky as it was quite damp at the beginning of the run but the track soon dried out. The team also did a fantastic job preparing me for today, giving me all the information I needed so that I was always in control.”

During the event Williams race and test drivers Pastor Maldonado, Bruno Senna and Valtteri Bottas drove two of the team’s earlier F1 cars.

They included a 1982 FW08, of the type used by Keke Rosberg to win the drivers’ championship that year, and an FW18, which Damon Hill won the 1996 drivers’ championship with, and which also claimed the constructors’ championship for the team.

Susie Wolff’s F1 debut and Williams event images

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51 comments on Susie Wolff makes F1 debut at Williams event

  1. Kazuki (@formula-1) said on 17th October 2012, 19:14

    I’m suprised Pastor and Bruno were allowed out there, knowing their crash records, especially when it comes for new parts to Bruno, in this case a different car.

    • Fernando Cruz said on 17th October 2012, 19:26

      Grosjean is the racing driver with a good crash record this year, then Maldonado and Kobayashi. In races Bruno rarely makes mistakes, so that comment is a little bit nonsense.

      • Kazuki (@formula-1) said on 17th October 2012, 19:31

        Well he does in practice, look at that record.

        • Fernando Cruz said on 17th October 2012, 19:55

          I’ d like to see a statistic of that compared to every other drivers. Anyway not all crashes are driver related. Sometimes it is some mechanical failure, sometimes it is just acquaplanning.

          • Obi-Spa Kenobi (@obi-spa-kenobi) said on 17th October 2012, 20:48

            Aquaplaning would be a driver error.

          • Fernando Cruz said on 17th October 2012, 21:57

            No, most of aquaplanning the driver does anything wrong or different to what he did in previous laps. It happened to Alain Prost in Estoril in 1985, when Ayrton Senna won for the first time, under the rain. It happened to Bruno Senna in Silverstone in FP2 at the entry of Hangar straight, resulting in a crash very similar to the one that killed his uncle in Imola.

        • nackavich (@nackavich) said on 18th October 2012, 15:16

          And practice is where Vettel makes his mistakes. Practice is all about testing the car and finding the limits of that car and of the circuit. Teams would prefer to have a driver who messes up in practice searching for the limit meaning they waste time repairing a car rather than a driver who makes a stupid judgement on race day and wastes a race or throws away points.

      • FC – Kobayashi has only caused one crash on track this year as memory serves me. You are conveniently glossing over Schumacher who has caused a bunch and is probably second to Grosjean for causing chaos and even another world champion in Raikkonen caused one in Japan. But a lot of it can come down to luck. Hamilton kept getting into crashes frequently last season, many involving Massa. But this season he hasn’t caused any as far as I can remember, but has been the victim of a few.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th October 2012, 23:10

        In races Bruno rarely makes mistakes, so that comment is a little bit nonsense.

        You’re right – he doesn’t crash during the races.

        What he does do is waste a seat, because he’s not very good. If he wasn’t a Senna (and technically, he isn’t; he’s a Lalli), nobody would give him the time of day.

        • Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 17th October 2012, 23:17

          @prisoner-monkeys What kind of logic is this? By the same token, Ayrton wasn’t a “Senna”, he was a “da Silva”. Bruno has two surnames, and he uses the one he sees fit. I don’t think there is any rule forcing drivers to use their father’s surname instead of their mother’s.

          • Carlito's way said on 17th October 2012, 23:58

            Haha nice one that ought to have taught him. Always talking as if he owns the truth!!

          • Eleanore (@leucocrystal) said on 18th October 2012, 0:11

            Exactly. And by that logic, Bruno’s mother and sisters aren’t Sennas either, which is just as ridiculous a thing to say. Going by the mother’s name is quite common in Brazil, and is the same thing that Ayrton did.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 18th October 2012, 1:06

            @guilherme – Portuguese naming traditions see children use the father’s surname and then the mother’s. Bruno’s mother is Ayrton’s sister, which means he would normally adopt his father’s surname, Lalli.

            I can’t help but question whether Bruno would have made it anywhere near Formula 1 if he was known as Bruno Lalli. He has the right to use the Senna name, of course – but if he wasn’t related to Ayrton, I don’t think he would have gotten into Formula 1.

        • AJ Ball said on 18th October 2012, 1:05

          What an extraordinary comment. I must remember to tell my cousins that they aren’t related to my grandmother some time.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 18th October 2012, 1:10

            I didn’t say he’s not related. Just that he was born with a different name.

          • Fernando Cruz said on 18th October 2012, 13:37

            He was born with that name – Bruno Senna Lalli. People don’t always name children according to the normal or current rules. Anyway he has two sisters who also have Senna in their names.

          • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 23rd October 2012, 4:05

            The aussie PM is still on his Bruno Senna crusade, I love that you are sticking to your own cause. Though it is asinine.

        • Fernando Cruz said on 18th October 2012, 10:51

          He is good enough in races and he can still improve his qualifying. In races he can be as quick as anyone, as he proved several times this year – Malaysia, China, Monaco, Valencia, Silverstone, Hockenheim, Hungaroring, Spa, Singapura and Suzuka. He is often quicker than his team mate in races and sometimes he is consistently as quick as the front running cars.

          His main problem is the time he lost the last few years, he deserved to be in F1 in 2009 more than Damon Hill deserved to be in 1993, as he had better results in junior categories. Had he started with Brawn in 2009 he would probably have won races in his rookie year and he would surely be a much better and developed driver by now. Even so he can still become as good as a Button or a Rosberg if he has the opportunity to develop himself in F1. If not he is out but he remains a very good driver. As there are also very good drivers outside F1 just because they didn’t have any chance due to lack of money.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 18th October 2012, 11:50

            “If” doesn’t get you very far in Formula 1.

            Senna will be judged on the results he has achieved, not what might have been.

          • Fernando Cruz said on 18th October 2012, 12:27

            Stefan Bellof was one of the quickest that ever raced in a F1 car but he has only a 4th place as his best result. That is an example of many we could find to prove that drivers can’t be judged only on the results they achieved in a category, F1 in this case.

  2. James (@jamesf1) said on 17th October 2012, 19:17

    Good on her for getting the chance, and taking it. Women dont get many opportunities in F1 – especially drivers, so it’s good to see representation. I also liked the tribute to Maria di Villota on her helmet.

    But that aside, you have to ask, does it not seem like she was just a token female driver today, perhaps instigated by her husbands role in the team?

    I’m sure that women will one day feature on the grid in F1, but I’d rather it was because of the what they know rather than who they know. I think that of the male drivers too, as well as the cash cows that occupy seats on the grid like: Karthykeyan, Petrov, Kobayashi to name a few (two of which have nothing left to bring to their teams). Does there need to be a female accademy to get women in to the top teir of open cockpit racing? There are many tallented women (and girls in lower formulae) who do not get the chance to prove themselves because they cannot bring enough money to the team

    • Kobayashi is paid by Sauber – he earned his seat by merit and is now facing losing it, as he doesn’t have big sponsers

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th October 2012, 23:07

        Actually, Kobayashi got his seat because Peter Sauber knew that he was a popular driver and was hoping that sponsors would want to be involved in the team because of Koabayshi’s popularity. Since he had only taken part in two races before joining Sauber, there was no merit involved.

        He is not facing the loss of his seat because he does not have sponsors. He is facing the loss of his seat because he has not been performing. Sponsors might save his seat or – if popular rumour is to be believed – help him find a seat somewhere else, but he is not losing the seat because he has no sponsors.

    • Slr (@slr) said on 17th October 2012, 19:33

      Does there need to be a female accademy to get women in to the top teir of open cockpit racing?

      I say no, there are many male drivers who can’t get near F1 because of money, or lack thereof. If there was to be something out there for drivers with little funding for their careers, then it should be for both genders.

      By the way, I don’t agree Kobayashi is a cash cow. Toyota helped fund his career prior to F1, but I’m not aware of him ever bringing money to Sauber.

  3. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 17th October 2012, 19:42

    DAT 1996 Williams. I’m in love…

  4. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 17th October 2012, 20:46

    She might be an outsider for Ferrari 2014. She at least fits one part of the job description…

  5. xivizmath (@xivizmath) said on 17th October 2012, 20:49

    Any more shots of FW08 on the track? Looks lovely.

  6. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 17th October 2012, 23:18

    I really like both Bottas’s and Wolff’s helmets.

    The conditions were a little tricky

    It’s the FW33…what did you expect :P

  7. Meander (@meander) said on 18th October 2012, 0:06

    I must say it’s a refreshing sight to see a lady posed in front of an F1 car in “real” overalls! I hope this becomes a regular occurrence in the near future. Like her helmet as well.

  8. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 18th October 2012, 1:28

    These guys, and in this case girl, are so lucky to drive for Williams! Both the FW08 and the FW18 are amazing cars.

    Btw, in the final picture that looks like Bruno Senna and not Valtteri Bottas in the car.

  9. leotef (@leotef) said on 18th October 2012, 2:36

    So it was just cruising without any lap times? Wonder what she did…

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 18th October 2012, 4:40

      So it was just cruising without any lap times?

      That would only make sense if she didn’t complete the lap. Thus being, every time she was about to cross the finish line she braked, drove back in reverse the entire lap until being in front of the finish line without crossing it, then drive to the finish line again but not cross it.

  10. Eleanore (@leucocrystal) said on 18th October 2012, 4:43

    I suppose it wouldn’t “really make sense” if you look at women like some other species to men, but I’m not going to take that bait, because I’ve been annoyed enough by men on the Internet today already.

  11. dirgegirl (@dirgegirl) said on 18th October 2012, 9:13

    Wow, I’m glad I’m not part of your family. It would be awful to have a family spokesman for a start. And then the lack of reason, the narrow-mindedness…

  12. davros said on 18th October 2012, 11:39

    Hope she gets a full time drive in F1 soon, because she clearly has the talent.

  13. dot_com (@dot_com) said on 18th October 2012, 16:09

    Was it a joint decision, or did you decide for them?

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