Susie Wolff, Williams F1 team development driver, tested at Silverstone yesterday, 19th July, in the full current race-level track car. She set the ninth fastest time over the three day testing in company where current world Champion, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, set the fastest time.
Friday was the last of three days of this testing with Williams also running one of its current F1 drivers, Pastor Maldonado and Daniel Juncadella, F3 champion in 2011 and 2012.
Juncadella set the then fifth fastest lap time on Thursday – at 1m 34.631s, having been given additional testing time on Thursday after his own Wednesday session was truncated. His additional time taken from that allocated to Maldonado for Thursday.
Wolff had aimed to go below 1m 35s and came under a tenth of a second from doing this, doing 1m 093s .
She was pleased with her performance, saying: ‘I was only four-tenths off a Formula 3 European champion, the guy who is rated as an up-and-coming young star, for me that was really important.’
Juncadella is racing for Mercedes this year, 2013, in Germany’s DTM touring car championships , the team Susie Wolff raced for over seven seasons. Juncadella’s best place achieved in DTM so far is third.
In her DTM debut in 2006, Susie Wolff got immediate respect by finishing in the top 10 in the opening race at Hockenheim.
Originally from Oban, the then Susie Stoddart is remembered as a doughty competitor in karting – according to John Buchanan, Chair of the Argyll Classic and Sporting Car Club who acted as a mechanic to karting teams, known as ‘the girl’, because she was generally the only one.
These were the days when the young Lewis Hamilton and Poland’s Robert Kubica were fellow competitors on the karting circuit.
Both went on to become F1 drivers, Hamilton with McLaren and Kubica with BMW Sauber.
Hamilton’s career is well known, Kubica’s less so, in part because he has been out during prolonged recovery from injury.
Kubica, rated at least as good as Hamilton in their karting days, won his first Grand Prix in Canada in 2008 and on 6th February 2011 was very seriously injured in a crash in a rally he was driving for fun - the Ronde di Andora. He was out for the 2011 and 2012 seasons but came back to race driving in September 2012, winning a minor rally in Italy.
This year, 2013, he’s driving for Citroen in the European and World Rally-2 Championships.
Susie Wolff has always lived with serious competition in honing her own skills and experience.
During this week’s three day testing period at Silverstone, the revised Pirelli tyres showed no repetition of the blow outs they so famously suffered during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone a few weeks ago.