Susie Wolff, formerly Susie Stoddart, originally from Oban and currently development driver for the Williams F1 team, is having a full test for Williams F1 team this Friday.
The subject of a recent television documentary shot by her brother, she came over as very much the real deal, able, absolutely focused, single minded and decisive.
Her husband, Tito Wolff, who came over on the programme as a delightfully engaging and open person, had been a race driver himself and said, wit no trace of discomfort, that Susie was a much better driver than he’d ever been.
She was very impressive – clearly highly capable, experienced – having driven for Mercedes for seven years in Germany’s DTM touring car championships – ready for the hard yards and straightforwardly determined.
The test – at Silverstone - is focused on the Pirelli tyres that failed so often during the recent British Grand Prix at Silverstone, in the now famous repetition of ‘left rear’ blow outs.
F1 teams are being allowed to test the Pirellis for three days on the Silverstone track, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and to use a race driver, if they wish, for one of the, Sauber and Williams will use a race driver on one of the three days.
Kimi Raikkonen will do the Lotus test drive on the final day, Friday; Sauber will put Nico Hulkenberg in the car on Thursday; and, while Williams will use Pastor Maldonado on Thursday, they have assigned the final day to Susie.
All three days are what is called the ‘young driver’ test, designed to give teams a chance to try out drivers who have not raced in F1 at all or very little.
With typical strategic focus on the challenge and the opportunity, Susie Wolff has said: ‘… the most important thing is to do a solid and consistent job and to give good feedback to the team to be able to prove I am at the level to compete…’.
The best drivers are not just good performers on the track. They are – and Michael Schumacher was arguably the supreme example of this – those with the best understanding of the performance of the car itself and able to give the team the most forensically accurate feedback on its handling.
Susie Wolff obviously gets this and knows what she has to do. She’s not a development driver for nothing, We’ll be keen to hear what happens on Friday and Argyll will be rooting for her.