GRANOLLERS, Spain (AP) — Susie Wolff is sure that she is good enough to start a Formula One race, even if her chances are slim.
The 32-year-old British driver, who is a development driver for Williams this season, placed 14th in Friday’s first practice session at the Spanish Grand Prix.
She will also do one day of post-race testing following next month’s Austrian GP and will run in the first practice at the British GP in July.
“I 100 percent feel that a woman can compete at this level,” Wolff said. “I am ambitious but I am also realistic. If I didn’t think I was good enough, or I didn’t think I was capable of racing at this level, I would have been the first to take myself out of the game.”
Still, with Adrian Sutil ahead of her as Williams’ reserve driver, Wolff knows she has a tough task ahead before becoming the first female racer to compete in a race since Lella Lombardi in 1976.
“I feel like I’m very close, I feel like I have something to bring to the table,” said Wolff, who is married to Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff. “My frame of mind is really to optimize every time I’m in the car, to improve as a racing driver. Then let’s see where that brings me, because it’s very difficult in this environment.”
When Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone suggested earlier in the season that it would be a good idea to have a women’s championship to run alongside F1 on race weekends, Wolff spoke out against the idea.
“A lot’s been spoken about (that) recently, that — yes, I was disappointed,” said Wolff, who at last year’s British GP was the first woman to take part in an F1 race weekend in 22 years. “We’re all fighting for the same opportunities because there’s so few. I was well aware that it was going to be a tough fight and it is.”
Wolff has a contract until the end of the season and said she will discuss her future with the team after Silverstone.
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