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Rev your engines girls! F1 driver Susie Wolff wants to get you racing

The first female driver in F1 for over 20 years, Susie Wolff is a pioneer within her sport.

Her job involves withstanding g-forces as strong as a space shuttle launch, racing around tracks at hundreds of miles per hour, and testing cutting edge technology in a simulator to help engineers build the fastest car possible.

“Formula 1 is incredibly tough, it’s an incredibly tough environment. But it’s also tough for the guys, its not just because of my gender,” said the Williams Test Driver.

“I started racing when I was eight, I never set out on a path to do something unusual, I simply found my passion early in life.

“The one thing about my sport that differs from many others is that you don’t see the driver. When we’re out on track racing with the helmet on and visor down you don’t know I’m a girl.”

Watch: The day Susie Wolff scared the life out of a track day guest!

Quickly getting to grips with go-karting, Wolff raced her way to 15th in the world by the time she was 18 before making the shift to Formula Renault 2.0, coming 5th in the British Championships and being heralded as a “rising star.”

Fast-forward ten years to 2014 and Wolff earned a coveted spot on the F1 circuit, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Lewis Hamilton – a two-time world champion.

Passionate about getting more girls behind the wheel, the 32-year-old Scot has high hopes for women in motorsport, and is currently leading by example.

“The more successful we are at the top, the more we inspire the next generation, the more they will see it’s possible.

“If you only get 50 [girls] racing, good luck that even two make it to the pinnacle of motorsport. If you get 500, we’re going to see more and more very successful racing drivers.”

It’s not an easy road to take – Wolff has experienced sexism within the industry, with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone saying: “If she is as quick in a car as she looks good out of one she’ll be a massive asset.”

Brushing off these kind of comments, Wolff chooses instead to let her driving do the talking – working hard to achieve her ultimate goal of becoming the first woman in 40 years to race in an F1 event.

“I’m a racing driver, I want to race – I’m not overly ambitious to say I want to be on the grid,” she said, having recently lost out to Adrian Sutil for the Reserve Driver position in Williams.

“I’ve done everything you need to be ready, I just need that last door to open to get myself on the grid. Because I think once it’s done that huge barrier will be knocked down and it won’t be such a big thing anymore.

“Just let me do one race so that I can actually show that I’m capable,” she added.

Susie Wolff was speaking ahead of her appearance on The Clare Balding Show. To see the full interview watch BT Sport 1 from 8pm on Thursday or on BBC Two at 10pm on Friday.



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