Susie Wolff aiming for F1 superlicence after FW35 test

2013 F1 season

Susie Wolff, Williams FW35, 2013Susie Wolff says her next objective is to get an F1 superlicence after being entrusted with the first run in the Williams FW35.

Wolff was the first person to drive the team’s new car in a straight-line aerodynamic test at Idiada last week.

She will do further aerodynamic tests in the car as she aims to increase her F1 mileage. “A superlicence is the next thing on the to-do list,” she told media in Barcelona.

Wolff said she will not be participating in Friday practice sessions this year. She is looking to race elsewhere after calling time on her DTM career.

“I stopped DTM because for me I had done seven years in DTM and felt there was nothing left more to achieve there,” she said. “I had tried my best, come to the best point I could, and there was no real way of moving forward there.”

“And when I made that decision it wasn’t consciously because I wanted to do more at Williams, I’d made that decision already in May of last year. It just so happened that I then got the opportunity for a Formula One test in October.

“This went well and I then got asked by Mike [Coughlan] to increase my role in the team and because I didn’t have a race programme like DTM which is quite full-on, I was able to dedicate a lot more of my time to working in the team and that’s what happened.

“It’s been a very natural progression. But my new year’s resolution was to stand on a podium again so I’m not done with racing yet. I think I’ll look into doing some GT races or so, just because I enjoy racing so much.”

But she ruled out an appearance at the Le Mans 24 Hours: “Unfortunately my husband has forbidden me from ever doing Le Mans, so Le Mans is off the programme!

“But, yes, Spa 24 Hours or some of the big highlight races would be really good and challenging to do.”

Toto “not an enemy of the team”

Wolff’s husband Toto left Williams to become the executive director at Mercedes’ Formula One team last month. “It’s not that he’s an enemy of the team any more, he’s still a friend of the team,” said his wife.

“But obviously he has a big job to do at Mercedes. I’m definitely seeing much less of him these days, he must have a lot of work on his plate.

“Of course we’re all competitive people and one hundred percent there’s going to be some instances this year where one is happy on a Sunday night and one is maybe not so happy.

“But there was never any question of my role at Williams coming into doubt, I’m very much a proud member of the team, there was anyway a contract in place and there was never any discussions.”

“We still support each other and maybe just talk a little bit less about Formula One at home,” she added. “I remember when I came back from a day in the factory and he said ‘how was your day?’ And I said… ‘my day was fine’. No need to say any more!”

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78 comments on Susie Wolff aiming for F1 superlicence after FW35 test

  1. WarfieldF1 (@warfieldf1) said on 21st February 2013, 9:49

    But she ruled out an appearance at the Le Mans 24 Hours: “Unfortunately my husband has forbidden me from ever doing Le Mans, so Le Mans is off the programme!

    “But, yes, Spa 24 Hours or some of the big highlight races would be really good and challenging to do.”

    Whats the point of getting involved in endurance racing if you wont ever contemplate going to Le Mans??
    Guess I wont be seeing you in June Susie at La Sarthe; I’ll be there as usual though, just 120 days of painful waiting to go…

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 21st February 2013, 14:09

      I think what’s much worse about this statement is

      my husband has forbidden me from ever doing Le Mans

      I hardly think that’s helping move forward the profile of women in motorsport or tearing down stereotypes. I can’t think of any male F1 drivers saying openly that they wouldn’t go to another series or race on of the most prestigious events in world motorsport because their wife told them they couldn’t!

  2. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 21st February 2013, 9:51

    “Unfortunately my husband has forbidden me from ever doing Le Mans, so Le Mans is off the programme!

    “But, yes, Spa 24 Hours or some of the big highlight races would be really good and challenging to do.”

    Is Le Mans a lot less safe than Spa 24? Indeed I do recall a few horrendous crashes with LMP1 cars – from which everybody walked away, though.

    As for her husband working for a rival team, I suspect inter-team romances are not new to Formula 1, and possibly less of an issue than intra-team romances (in particular with her husband formerly on the board of Williams). I remember reading in The Mechanic’s Tale by Steve Matchett, on his 1994 season with Benetton that his (then?) partner was working at Williams, without causing any problems in their relationship (that he wrote of, anyway).

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 21st February 2013, 10:01

      I’d say Spa is more dangerous actually, because it’s a shorter circuit, so it’s ‘busier’. That is supported by facts, as there have been more casualties at Spa in the last 30 years in endurance races than at Le Mans.

    • deanmachine (@deanmachine) said on 21st February 2013, 16:21

      I suppose the only way Spa is safer is that all the cars currently are in GT3 spec that run in the 24 hours rather than multi-classes like Le Mans. Thing is, there’s a lot less experienced drivers at Spa which to me makes it less safe than Le Mans.

  3. Really? :)

  4. zimkazimka (@zimkazimka) said on 21st February 2013, 10:13

    well that was awkward…

  5. matthewf1 (@) said on 21st February 2013, 10:15

    What does she need a superlicence for? She will never race in F1. If Maldonado gets a ban for going all crashy, they would not put her in the car instead, no way.

  6. Ben (@scuderia29) said on 21st February 2013, 10:24

    “I stopped DTM because for me I had done seven years in DTM and felt there was nothing left more to achieve there,”

    surely winning the championship, or even a race…or even finishing on the podium was something to still achieve.

  7. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st February 2013, 10:28

    Susie Wolff says her next objective is to get an F1 superlicence after being entrusted with the first run in the Williams FW35.

    I’m not sure what her plan is. If Wolff wants a superlicence, then I’m guessing she wants to race at some point (because who would want a superlicence just to drive around on Friday mornings?). But I can’t see her racing any time soon; not because I don’t she has the talent, but because I can’t see any place for her to race. I very much doubt Williams will give up on Maldonado or Bottas any time soon unless they absolutely had to, and without any open-wheel racing experience since she took part in two Formula 3 races at Donington in 2005, I can’t see her being a viable prospect for any other team.

    • phildick (@phildick) said on 21st February 2013, 11:39

      Well, the question is why not?

      If she’s come to Formula 1 and become a test driver it seems logical that the next step would be to get a superlicence. I understand that looking realistically at things chances for her to race in F1 are very small to say the least, but let her dream :) I believe that no current F1 driver got there without dreaming (apart from talent, determination, hard work and a big share of luck).

  8. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 21st February 2013, 10:31

    I stopped DTM because for me I had done seven years in DTM and felt there was nothing left more to achieve there,

    Read: “I stopped DTM because for me I had done seven years in DTM and realized I had achieved nothing, so it was a waste of time”

    Hope she gets the superlicense, tho !

  9. Oblong_Cheese (@oblong_cheese) said on 21st February 2013, 11:57

    @Keith I think you used the wrong picture.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2281580/Susie-Wolff-tipped-British-female-race-Formula-One.html

    Obviously female racing drivers can only be represented wearing feminine attire! Just like we have so many photos of all the male drivers topless in board shorts!

  10. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 21st February 2013, 11:59

    “Unfortunately my husband has forbidden me from ever doing Le Mans, so Le Mans is off the programme!”

    Way to empower women Susie! O_o

    • I Love the Pope said on 21st February 2013, 15:25

      So if my wife doesn’t want me to race cars on the weekend because she fears for my life and her and the kids going on without me, I should ignore her to feel “empowered”?

      Really? Why is what Susie said offensive?

      • It’s offensive because she’s implying that her husband’s need for her isn’t fulfilled by her reaching for her dreams, and that she accepts that and is willing to curtail her dreams for him.

        • I love the Pope said on 22nd February 2013, 0:15

          I don’t get it. My dreams come before my wife? That would make me incredibly selfish and a terrible husband. Why would I get married if I didn’t seek to give all for her, even if that meant giving some things up? I really don’t get it, and neither does my wife.

          • And would giving all for her include forbidding her not to do things that meant a lot to her? Get it?

  11. Got this classic piece from kimi’s interview

    Interviewer: There are those drivers who train intensively, for example Jenson Button with his triathlons, or Mark Webber with his biking. You don’t appear to be that kind of person…
    KR: You don’t know that – you don’t know what I do! I do my thing, but I have no interest to tell! (laughs)

    • ho ho its gets better

      Q: So you are not the Jedi master taking an apprentice under his wings?
      KR: This is not Hollywood – this is Formula One. I try to figure out my own stuff.

    • JB (@) said on 21st February 2013, 16:00

      That interview is a couple of days old and it´s already a classic??? Really…
      I find it funny how you can consider anything Kimi says as a classic just because he´s being himself and not giving a poop about political correctness… He´s just being himself!

  12. coefficient (@coefficient) said on 21st February 2013, 12:06

    I’m keen to see what she can do. It seems to me that if she can drive the simulator at a representative level then she would more than likely qualify the Williams easily enough assuming she could handle the pressure. The big question mark would be over race craft because she’s been out of racing for a while and out of single seaters for even longer. It would be very interesting to see how quick she could be though!

    • People also shouldn’t forget the fact that she was the best female karter in the world just over 10 years ago, so she is probably a lot better than all of us! Probably ahead of the Caterham and Marussia anyway

  13. Hairs (@hairs) said on 21st February 2013, 12:22

    It’s very easy to read this article and see a number of opportunities to bash Susie. As a well known cynical knocker of drivers I think are not up to much (Grosjean, sutil, the list goes on) I’m quite guilty of it myself. In the circumstances, I think she’s been pretty courageous and honest, actually.

    By admitting there was not much likelihood of going further in the dtm, she’s only saying what a lot of others have for months: She wasn’t a top flight driver. The comment about “my husband won’t let me” is evidence of pressure a lot of male drivers face from partners and family in the same situation. Motor racing is dangerous. Maybe a driver is happy to take on those risks, and we like to see that in our armchairs at home, but when a car launches into the air, or speeds towards a barrier at 200 miles an hour, it’s a very different experience if you’re that driver’s wife, husband, parent, child… Maybe you could argue that she should be a real racer and ignore her husband’s wishes. You, however, won’t have to sit in hospital, if it goes wrong. Lots of people were outspoken about Dan Weldon’s death last year. However, their lives went on as usual, unlike his family’s. Another way of reading it is that two adults had a mature discussion and decided what was best for their relationship. It’s none of our business, really, and I don’t think it’s unhealthy.

    I have a lot more respect for someone who is being up front about their racing, their abilities, and their approach to life than I do for many of the serial chancers and bull plop artists who wander round interviews lying about whose fault an accident was, or what their chances are, or whether or not they’re capable of driving the car without crashing.

    • Sush (@sushi) said on 21st February 2013, 13:35

      It’s very easy to read this article and see a number of opportunities to bash Susie.

      Yeah, at least she’s not a pay driver.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st February 2013, 13:56

      Great post @hairs. I agree that while she is probably not going to be our next racing superstar, she never even says she is or should be.

      Doing a solid job to help the team on, and looking for achievable targets to work on.

    • mateuss (@mateuss) said on 21st February 2013, 15:11

      Difference is male drivers “know” that nothing bad is going to happen to them…
      Rationally of course they must understand the extreme physics involved and acknowledge the real statistical risk.

      But emotionally I think there is no other way of approaching an extreme sport if you want to be competitive.

    • Francorchamps (@francorchamps17) said on 21st February 2013, 15:58

      I have no statistics about that but I think nowadays Formula 1 is way less dangerous than skiing for example. There are not a lot of massive crashes, and when it happens, the driver goes out of the car in 10 seconds (Webber in Valencia, Rosberg in Abu Dhabi,…).

      • Hairs (@hairs) said on 21st February 2013, 23:21

        You’re mistaking statistical likelihood with emotional attachment.

        It’s easy to sit at home and think “well that’s actually pretty safe”. If it was your child or partner sitting in that seat, statistics take a back seat to emotions.

  14. I Love the Pope said on 21st February 2013, 13:05

    There is no point to that Susie.

  15. melkurion (@melkurion) said on 21st February 2013, 13:34

    Wolff’s husband Toto left Williams to become the executive director at Mercedes’ Formula One team last month. “It’s not that he’s an enemy of the team any more, he’s still a friend of the team,” said his wife.

    translation: williams might get mercedes turbo power for next year, IF…..

    Sad….

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd February 2013, 5:50

      @melkurion – I don’t see anything in Wolff’s comments to suggest that Williams will get Mercedes engines in exchange for giving his wife a racing seat. Especially considering that Williams have an option in their Renault contract to continue using Renault engines in 2014.

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