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Disappointment for Susie Wolff as F1 debut run ends after four laps
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Suzie Wolff drives the Williams at Silverstone
Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Jul 2014   |  11:22 am GMT  |  34 comments

Sport can be cruel at times. Susie Wolff’s historic run in Free Practice this morning, the first for a woman driver in an official F1 session for 22 years, ended after just four laps when an oil pressure stopped the Williams out on track.

Wolff has taken part in several test sessions, but this was the first of two opportunities to drive in Official Practice, the second will come at Hockenheim. She was driving Valtteri Bottas’ car. With a red flag stoppage for team mate Felipe Massa’s heavy accident in FP1, the team had the chance to get the car back and work on it in time for FP2.

Although it is early days and there is no word from the team about what the fall-out will be from this session, no doubt the team will aim to give her another chance to make up for this truncated opportunity.

Suzie Wolff drives for Williams at Silverstone

“Going out onto the track was the best feeling because although there has been a lot of media in the run up to this day,” said Wolff. “When you put the helmet on it’s just you and the car, as soon as I left the pit lane everything felt good and I knew what I had to do.

“The team had done a fantastic job of preparing me.

“Unfortunately it turned out to be a short run, but that’s life. Now I can work towards Hockeheim and I know what I have to do there.

“It’s really tough day but that’s F1 sometimes. We had an oil pressure problem that stopped the car.”

Mercedes Nico Rosberg was quickest in first practice, 0.731s ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

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34 Comments
  1. FormulaEDiary says:

    Absolutely gutted for Susie. I had a glimmer of false hope when he car came back to the garage following Felipe’s accident but to hear it was a terminal issue is so frustrating.

    Hopefully the weekend goes a little better for Williams.

  2. goferet says:

    Unfortunate day for Susie after the oil pressure problem, it’s always frustrating when your day’s work ends before it has even begun.

    But considering Silverstone’s high speed nature and the spectacular excavations we have had today, perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that Suise had to retire otherwise she would have done a disservice to all future female F1 drivers should she have beached it.

    So yeah, overall it was a good day, just glad Suise had four trouble free laps and so now we wait to see what she can do at the next outing.

    1. Lohani says:

      I think so too. I was really looking forward to she doing the whole session and posting a competitive time. All the best in Hockenheimring!

  3. Goob says:

    Gimmick… just like DRS

  4. Anne says:

    I´m very disappointed as well, not just for Susie but for Williams. Massa had another scary crash. Is it possible for Susie to have another chance in Germany?

    1. James Allen says:

      She is scheduled to run in FP1 in Germany already

      1. Anne says:

        Thank you James. That´s great news for her. I hope things in Germany go better

    2. W Johnson says:

      Why is there is so much focus on a female driver? Is n’t this unfair giving one test driver more focus than other equally deserving test drivers?

  5. Gaz Boy says:

    Shame for Susie, and surprising too, as Williams and Merc engines have been pretty good reliability wise.
    I bet Toto is giving some of the Williams personnel an ear-bashing in that fabulous bassy, guttural Austrian of his: “You’ve messed up the car for my missus! You’ll pay for this!”

    1. RacingFanatic says:

      Haha I can just picture this happening :) He owns something like 16% of the team doesn’t he? Or is that in the past?

    2. Martin (England) says:

      It was the Merc engine that broke and I think Toto already said “We let her down” IE Merc not Williams.

  6. Chris says:

    Whilst I agree with F1 being open to all, Suzie is the best candidate for an F1 drive. There are woman drivers out there that should get a chance, but Suzie has been put in that car for political reasons. Her partner is supplying Williams with the best engine on the grid.
    There are many talented drivers out there that deserve the opportunity (and need a break), yet they have nothing to offer teams. Williams is never going to put her in the car, but maybe a back of the grid team would for Mercedes power plants? Further to that though, she seems to be unlucky, some drivers just are :(

    1. Chris says:

      Sorry, above should say not the best candidate!!

    2. AndyFov says:

      Don’t single Susie out. Half the drivers on the grid are there because of their connections, or because of the money they bring to their team. Susie’s opportunity to test the Williams may be politically gained, it may not, but regardless she’s been given her chance and it’s a real shame it’s been cut short in this instance through no fault of her own.

      I’m not the world’s biggest feminist or anything, but think it’s high time F1 found more credible roles for women than just being there to prettify the grid. I’m writing that in spite of thinking Austria raised the bar in terms of showcasing its world class totty. Still, in an era when many fans feel disenchated with F1, perhaps it’s time for F1 to be a bit less of a patriarchy?

      1. DAVE Emberton says:

        Monisha Kaltenborn and Clare Williams are high profile, and certainly credible figures.

        Susie Wolff does at least disprove the old excuse of women not being able to physically stand the G-forces in the car. And having a woman be part of an F1 test does get people used to the idea and would certainly help a genuine female star get accepted.

      2. Chris says:

        Your all right, many a driver gets into F1 because of political/money reasons. However there are plenty of men in F1. Susie is there because of such reasons to, and if she is very slow/unlucky etc, it doesn’t help woman in the future get in does it? Women need a success story to open the door so to speak. Her record does not stand out as outstanding to me!!

    3. KGBVD says:

      Because Adrian Sutil is a world beater and his drive has nothing to do with Medion, or Pastor with PVDSA, or Perez with Claro. Come on. EVERY SINGLE DRIVER has a drive for political (i.e. business) reasons.

      1. RacingFanatic says:

        The last that got into F1 purely on merit was Webber wasn’t it? I am probably (almost certainly) wrong about that though as I find the whole thing confusing to be honest I used to have faith that best drivers = F1.. NOT AT ALL ANYMORE!!! I do think some of the drivers genuinely deserve their drives.. Alonso, Hamilton, Ricciardo, Hulk, Kimi etc..

      2. Torchwood Five says:

        What with all the divisions of attention between all the functions on those steering wheels, and taking the changeover of tech regs between the V8s (aspirated) and the new less aero, hybrid turbo stuff in their strides, those drivers on the F1 grid are probably the best.

        However, it has been acknowledged that this year and last, the route for only the best drivers getting into F1, is not working, as being able to bring money, the lifeblood to keep a team alive, is taking priority.

        There have been periods of years in F1 history where that has happened, so best not to make a big drokking deal about it, and get on with watching the races.

  7. OffCourse says:

    how good was that Martini livery helmet in a Martini livery car? Sweet.

  8. Graham says:

    She spells her name Susie not Suzie.

    1. Hudson says:

      Your post made me laugh a lot. Thanks. Your only contribution was to correct the spelling of her name?

      1. rasbob says:

        And your only contribution was to point that out? Just sayin…

  9. Thompson says:

    would have liked to see her pushing the car.

    poor day for Williams all round.

    1. Random 79 says:

      “would have liked to see her pushing the car”

      Maybe so, but that’s a job for the marshals and mechanics ;)

    2. Caterhamfan says:

      She probably would have done if she could, but I think the days of drivers pushing their cars over the line have long gone – like Sir Jack Brabham ;)

  10. Peter Scandlyn says:

    That was a shame…..here’s to Hockenheim then, looking forward to a better chance for her.

  11. Nator says:

    Is she actually quick? I haven’t followed her too closely.
    I mean, I hope she is there on merit, and not just a token gesture.
    It will be great when a female has a full time gig in F1, it just needs to be on merit/talent. That’s all that counts.

  12. Garry says:

    Maybe it is time for Monisha Kaltenborn and Clare Williams to get together and start F1 Womens only events for drivers like Susie.

  13. schick says:

    Oh, pulleeeze, lets not have anymore of this drivel, its a PR exercise, nothing more, nothing less, she is obviously talented but F1? c’mon seriously there would be several hundred better qualified drivers out there but don’t have the pull that Susie’s dad has, I’m OK with that but seriously its all a bit of a giggle.

  14. kevin green says:

    That car was deliberately shut down 100% and prob as much so at the request of her own husband! lol

  15. Torchwood Five says:

    What’s better, a good result, or consistency?

    Last weekend, I watched a Tatiana Calderone get a “career best fifth” in what I think was Renault 3.5. Maybe Formula 3 Euro series. Whatever it was that Max Verstappen won three races in one weekend…

    Prompted me to look her up, Youtube, Wiki, etc., and I noted that while she has won some previous series, her positions in the rest of this year’s campaign had been between 15th and the 20s.

    No idea what happened in the race to get her up to 5th, it wasn’t a wet race.

  16. zombie says:

    I’m looking at drivers in their 20s currently without a chance to drive an F1 car. On the top of my list are : Di Resta, Kovi, Seb Buemi and Alguersari, Then there are experienced drivers without a drive : Heidfeld, Glock and Klien. I bet any of those drivers would have been faster than Susie. I get the point folks here are making that almost every driver gets into F1 through contacts and sponsorship, but they also come with solid performance and championships in lower formulas. Susie Wolff has done nothing, nada, zilch in junior formulas. So at 31, with a career best of finishing 5th in British Formula Renault 10 years ago, what exactly has Susie done to deserve the Williams test other than marrying Toto ?

  17. david says:

    I am not familiar with Susie wolfes story, but I can tell you that DE Silvestro is an amazing road course driver.

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