Monday, January 28, 2013
Susie Wolff will be first to drive new Williams
LONDON (Reuters) - Williams handed development driver Susie Wolff an expanded role on Monday and said the wife of shareholder and former executive director Toto would be first to try out the Formula One team's new car next month.
The Scottish-born 30-year-old, who raced in the German touring car championship (DTM) for seven seasons but scored only four points in total, will have an increased programme in the simulator this year along with more in-car testing, Williams said in a statement.
She will be first behind the wheel of the new FW35 car, at an aerodynamics test at Spain's Idiada test circuit before the launch at the second pre-season test in Barcelona on February 19, and will do most of the team's aero testing.
"Susie has proved herself to be a valuable addition to our driver roster and her feedback during simulator sessions is second to none," said technical director Mike Coughlan.
"As a result, we will be stepping up her role this year..."
Wolff, who joined Williams in April 2012 and whose Austrian husband is now executive director at rivals Mercedes, said she was "showing that women can play a role at the top level of motorsport".
Williams have Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado, a race winner last year, and Finnish rookie Valtteri Bottas as their drivers this season.
The team, winners of nine constructors' titles between 1980 and 1997, finished eighth overall in 2012.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Mark Meadows)