Susie Wolff targets place in young driver test with Williams

By Lawrence BarrettoBBC Sport
Long road for female Formula 1 drivers - Susie Wolff

Williams development driver Susie Wolff is targeting a spot in the next young driver test as she continues her bid to secure a Formula 1 race seat.

"I'm on a fantastic path but I don't look too far ahead," Wolff, 30, told BBC Sport. "I look at each small step.

"Now it's about doing the young drivers days and proving I'm quick enough - and then getting a super licence."

Despite her age, Wolff is allowed to take part in the test because she has not yet competed in a Formula 1 race.

The last British woman to drive an F1 car on a race track was Katherine Legge, who drove a Minardi in Italy in 2005.

The last woman to race an F1 car was Italian Lella Lombardi in 1976.

Wolff, who competed in the DTM German touring car championship for seven seasons before leaving the series at the end of last year, joined Williams in 2012 as development driver.

She was then given an expanded role this season, which included more time in the simulator and also a first taste of a real Formula 1 car.

The date of this year's young driver test has yet to be decided, but it usually takes place at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina circuit or Silverstone, which hosted one last year.

Wolff said only once she had completed a young driver test would she think about getting a super licence - a qualification issued by the sport's governing body the FIA on request - that allows a driver to take part in Formula 1 races.

"Once I've done the test, I'll apply for a super licence and then I've got to get myself close enough and hope I get the opportunity for a race seat," said Wolff, the wife of Mercedes director of motorsport and Williams shareholder Toto Wolff.

"I would have enough mileage [for the licence] already but there's no point in doing that just now because it's unrealistic for me to get a race seat yet.

"I've never done a start, I've never done a pit stop and I need more time in the car.

"I'm not going to jump steps, it's got to be done in right way and I've got to prove myself at each step of the way. Teams like Williams won't put a driver in the car if they're not good enough. I just need to show that I am."

However, after a year in Formula 1, the 30-year-old says she feels she has been accepted into the sport.

"I have had to earn the respect of the team and I had to do that good test to show that I was capable and that I deserve the chance," she said.

"I get a lot of support in the team and it's fantastic that Claire [Williams] has been made deputy team principal. All of us are enthusiastic about the future.

"The stereotype will always there. When you hear other people being interviewed about women in motorsport, a lot don't believe it will happen, a lot are against it but if you're in the paddock, I believe you've earned your place there."

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