Williams F1 test driver and wife of Toto Wolff, Susie Wolff, says she’s ready for the big time in Formula One. Having thrown down a 1:35.093 during the Young Driver’s Test at Silverstone last week, Wolff believes she has what it takes to drive in F1. She was slightly slower than Spaniard Daniel Juncadella, the european F3 champ. She was a full second off the pace of current Williams F1 driver Pastor Maldonado. Wolff told BBC’s Andrew Benson:
“I was only 0.4 secs off the F3 European champion, the guy who’s rated as an up-and-coming young star. For me that was important.
“If that has more meaning for other people because I am female, then I will use that to my advantage but I’m not going to play the card ‘I’m a girl so give me the car I’m fast enough’.
“There were a lot of great performances from young drivers over the three days [of the test]. We’re all fighting hard and I’ve got to continue to fight hard.”
Parsing words, I am unclear on what her statement about using her “female” status to her advantage while “not playing that card” actually means other than she is not keen on gaining a ride because she’s a female who is fast enough to tool around for novelty’s sake and I can appreciate that very much. The world doesn’t need another novelty, it needs genuine integrity and Wolff has shown that she’s capable of setting lap times on par with the current crop of test drivers in the field.
Testing is one thing, racing is a completely different beast and time will tell if Wolff gets her shot at the F1 grid. Suffice to say, no man or woman should be on an F1 grid based on anything less than merit but that notion flew out the window when money and financial backing came into the sport. Let’s hope it doesn’t reduce itself to pandering as well.