Williams F1 Test Driver Susie Wolff will be calling time on her competitive racing career after this years Race of Champions, citing tough times in Formula 1 as the main reason why she thinks a race debut will not come in the near future.
Writing on the Huffington Post, Wolff said: “So much in life comes down to timing. Particularly in my world. For me, the time has come to hang up my helmet and call it a day.”
“At 13, the dream and the goal became Formula 1. I got oh so close. I wanted and fought very hard to make it onto that starting grid but the events at the start of this year and the current environment in F1 the way it is, it isn’t going to happen.”
Wolff has been a leading light in making motorsport more accessible to Women in the last couple of years, particularly with the help of the late Maria de Violetta. In that time she became the first women to compete in a Grand Prix weekend for the last 20 years during the Practice outings she received with Williams last year as a “development driver,” before being named as their official test driver this year.
Once her professional racing career has finished at the end of this season, she will be launching a new initiative with the MSA [Motorsports Association] aimed at celebrating women in motorsport and highlighting how it is a career option for them.
“Do I think F1 is ready for a competitive female racing driver that can perform at the highest level? Yes. Do I think it is achievable as a woman? Most definitely. Do I think it will happen soon? Sadly no,” she added. “We have two issues, not enough young girls starting in karting at a young age and no clear role model. Sometimes you just have to see it to believe it.”