Susie Wolff, Williams, Silverstone, 2014

Susie Wolff to test Williams at Barcelona

2015 F1 season

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Susie Wolff, Williams, Silverstone, 2014Williams test driver Susie Wolff will sample the team’s new FW37 on the first day of this week’s test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa will each get a day and a half in the new car over the following three days of running.

Bottas will drive the car on Friday before handing over to Massa on Saturday, and the pair will share the final day.

Wolff was named the team’s test driver after driving for them in two practice sessions last year.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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49 comments on “Susie Wolff to test Williams at Barcelona”

  1. First ‘test driver’ to actually test. Good.

    Thanks Williams.

    1. actually, thanx toto wolff…

      1. Really, Toto organised it? Link please or classic sexist assumption fail. @bgp001ruled

        1. does anyone think she would be there without him?

          1. No, but the point is that she is now there without him. I’ll be the first to say that she doesn’t deserve to get a racing seat in F1, but the fact she keeps getting a part of of the very limited testing time would indicate that she does a fine job at testing.

          2. To me I see it the same as all the sons of racing drivers that out of all the billions of people in the world seem to get an F1 drive.

            We should also say thanks to Graham Hill, Max Verstappen, Keke Rosberg, Carlos Sainz, Gilles Villeneuve, Nelson Piquet, Jack Brabham, Mario Andretti, Satoru Nakajima, etc…

            And no there is no such thing as an F1 gene.

          3. Ha, Jos Verstappen even :)

          4. @lancer033: Try turning the question round a bit. Would Toto be where he is without her?
            Honest married men in a strong relationship may know the answer to this already.

  2. I wish he still had the days were testing was unlimited. Then I’m sure it would be so much easier to judge a driver’s pace. For instance, Williams could compare data from Bottas, Massa, Wolff and Nasr and decide who has the best potential and pace. It would make it easier to compare drivers who have moved teams. For instance, Ferrari could compare Vettel’s data to Alonso’s (although he did have that go at Fiorano in a F2012) or McLaren could compare Alonso’s data to Lewis’.

    1. McLaren could already compare Alonso and Lewis’ data when they were teammates in ’07. Though I imagine you mean a more recent comparison (because ’07 was a while ago now).
      We can get a general idea in 2015 by comparing their qualifying results relative to Jenson. Hamilton out-qualified Button 44-14 overall, with their most recent season together (2012) being 17-3 to Hamilton.

      1. but button scored more points then Hamilton as teammates :P so what is your point? you cant compare over 1 lap on lowest fuel. some drivers are better qualifier then racers. remember Jarno Trulli?

        1. And Lewis out performed Button 2 seasons out of 3, despite awful reliability issues and getting taken out a couple times in his last year.

        2. @kpcart Well someone worked out that Hamilton lost around 90 points to mechanical failures while Button lost only 40 (as Hamilton had 6 mechanical failures to Button’s 5, and they tended to occur from higher positions, including losing some likely race wins and podiums), and as Button was only 15 points ahead in the end I don’t think the points argument really means much (especially as Hamilton was ahead 27-20 in a two car finish).

          But anyway, I was specifically talking about ultimate pace (e.g. qualifying pace) as that’s what mashiat was talking about (you can’t really compare racing abilities in a test).

          1. Also, Hamilton’s point loss from bad luck is even higher due to a huge amount of other issues he suffered in 2012.

            Overall Hamilton lost 140+ points to bad luck in 2012, while Button lost only ~30, so although the actual gap in 2012 was a mere 2 points (190-188), it could have been as much as 110-120 points in Hamilton’s favour if luck was equal (if you are willing to read a badly-formatted wall of text, I explain this calculation here: http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=EJXmcHNt).

          2. And Nico outqualified Lewis over the course of the last season. And got badly beaten in races.
            Your point being?

  3. I just went to Driver Database to compare Wolff with Lynn. Maybe just maybe Alex Lynn has greater potential.

    1. It’s beneficial for simulator drivers to get real-world experience though, this is the best time to do it as it doesn’t get in the way of setup or race preparation. I don’t imagine they really need feedback at this stage, they just stuff the car full of sensors and send it round and round.

      For Lynn of course all seat time would be useful, but the experience of a Friday practice session, being able to join in with the debriefs ect. would be more useful than cruising around at 7/10ths in unusual conditions in a test session.

    2. It appears that Wolff is a good tester – patient, professional, a good communicator with technical staff, not wrapped up in her own ego, hard working, sensitive to the car.
      This has little to do with raw speed or racecraft. Her results in series where she has had reasonably competitive machinery would indicate that her skills as a tester are her strongest suit.
      I’d still love to see her run a season partnering Bottas though. That would be a mountain to climb.

  4. Why doesn’t Susie go to GP2 to gain more experience or to show her talent, or just for fun?

    1. to earn Superlicence

    2. There isn’t much talent to show.

    3. She’s 32 and her last year competing in single seaters was 2004, and a few levels lower than GP2. She’d be 6 years older (at least) than all but two drivers.

      I heavily suspect she wouldn’t have much fun. Now she has a decent status – test driver at Williams is a good accomplishment for her. If she races in GP2 and is uncompetitive, she would lose any credibility left.

  5. It’s not what you know, but who you do!!! All for female drivers in high class racing series but Susie really hasn’t got the talent or skill for F1.

    1. Please , what talent and skill are you talking about . F1 drivers are nothing special. All of them were beaten in lesser formula by better drivers that never had the chance to reach formula . The new young drivers have proven that it does not take much to drive the new f1 cars fast. It all depends who has the fastest car to win the championship

      1. Please , what talent and skill are you talking about . F1 drivers are nothing special. All of them were beaten in lesser formula by better drivers that never had the chance to reach formula .

        Even if beaten from time to time, most of them have had better junior careers than those who beat them on occasion.

      2. Thats quite a sweeping statement Ean!

        Show me a list of all those drivers that beat say Hamilton or Kimi or Alonso for that matter in the lower categories?

        Given for example Lewis was Champion in or around the second year (and often the first) pretty much from the time he stepped into a Cadet Kart, I think you will find talent shines through particularly when for example, one leaves the fold of say a comfortable supporting sponsor who wants you to do one thing and you elect to do an unknown and hugely competitive “other” championship on ones own funds and with just your family and sponsors helping.

        Or for example look at Kimi’s meteoric rise through the lower formulae and his unknown at the time jump to F1 – are you saying they were easy to drive back then? Or even good old Jenson B’s lower formulae success. I remember watching them all from the sidelines or even within the same races and championships (other categories) in certain instances and I can assure you there was far more to the success than “the machinery” That was plainly obvious to anyone who was there competing at the time.

        I will give you there are certain instances where lower categories have seen fairly uninspired success (Vettel anyone) but by no means all.

    2. i wished the swiss chick had made it with sauber! she looked promising! someone should hire her: there’d be the marketing aspect (being a woman), but also some talent!

  6. Only see two reasons for Williams to let her drive the 2015 car. Number once is if she’s doing alot of simulator work , and she needs to experience the real world car to optimally being able to do her job. The other reason I could imagine is if she is trying to obtain a super license before the 2016 system will be applied. I’m not sure how that would work though, does testing milage even count towards obtaining a license?

    1. I would imagine its about your first point – driving the actual car will help with calibrating versus the simulator, and worth spending a days testing on (disclaimer: I have no inside information).
      Not wishing to be rude at all, but I’m doubtful the super licence position will prove to be important.

  7. I don’t know why they keep putting this girl in the car, it is just taking mileage away from the main drivers. For crying out loud it is not like she might be bringing in world championships for the team in the future.

    1. “Girl”? She’s 32 years old.

      1. @jules-winfield @pmccarthy_is_a_legend And a married one at that (*coughs* Toto?)

    2. I think it’s because she is a good worker who has good feedback. I imagine Suzie has developed a great professional relationship with Williams and is reaping the rewards. She may not be regular F1 race stuff but Pedro wasn’t and he had a mighty successful testing career with McLaren and Ferrari iirc.

      1. I agree with you fully.

      2. As did Luca Badoer.

      3. Absolutely – and he was not married to Toto even!

        Although his part in Spygate kind of sullied his success…

  8. Frank is meant to be the most unsentimental human being God ever made, so I really, really don’t understand this, but I suppose at least they’re not having to use a Cosworth…

    1. Liam McShane (@)
      17th February 2015, 19:33

      Frank has virtually zero input on this stuff. He stepped down a few years ago.

  9. “Valtteri Bottas will each get a day and a half in the new car over the following three days of running.”

    So Keith, why haven’t you informed us of those 2 drivers, called “Valteri” and “Bottas” (couldn’t hurt either to give us some first names) who suddenly are testing each a day for Williams? Or is Valteri Bottas that awesome the team just decided that to split him in two and give each half a day?

    :P

    1. *each a a day and a half, excusez-moi.

      1. *each a a day and a half, excusez-moi.

        It’s easy to make little mistakes when you’re writing, isn’t it?

        1. Especially on a smartphone! But yeah, it was sloppy.

  10. Bringing together the various streams of thought hereabove, we can dig ourselves a confluent pond around whom all can gather and fish from a source of agreement that nets us the following indisputable fact:

    1. Women should not be driving in Formula One, unless:

    1.1 They are good enough to match and beat the average performance of the best drivers currently available in that classification.
    1.2 They are able to pay for a seat and match, at least, the average performance of mediocre drivers available in that classification.
    1.3 In extremis, the classification has become so moribund that the gender of a driver is more exciting to the consumer than the performance of the driver and the on-track spectacle.
    1.4 They are testing and it doesn’t really matter that much because it’s more of a stunt than an engineering exercise and the trade-off gets you in the papers a bit and, while possibly limiting the specific quality of the development, the revenue boost can be plowed into another department for an overall benefit to the championship pursuit.
    1.5 They are really, really good. I mean really good.

    2. Men should not be driving in Formula One, unless:

    See: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5.

    3. Men and women should not be driving in any racing formulas, unless:

    See: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5 and 1.6.

    4. Women really get on my nerves sometimes, unless:

    4.1 They are Maggie Thatcher.
    4.2 They are fragrant and nice. I don’t like them sweating.
    4.3 They are nursies.

    (If you have spent all this time wondering where is 1.6, there is no 1.6. I was just checking you were still reading up to that point. If you were, well done. If you weren’t, how have you ended up reading this? You confuse me sometimes.)

    These inviolable principles can be readily codified within any organ, sport or institution and enshrine a guaranteed integrity of success or veiled failure in the form of tokenism.

    What I believe I am trying to say, if I have corrected myself properly and read it, is that I don’t like women flapping around and messing things up, but, on the other hand, I have seen a female bus driver and she seemed to do all right – surprising, slightly exaggerated, but true. It’s a very difficult and touchy subject, and I’m starting to wish I’d never got involved. Too late now, I suppose. Here goes! I’m getting involved!

    1. Just for the record – I do not know you. I have never met you. I have nothing to do with you. I do not under any circumstances agree with your thoughts and I think all F1 drivers should be woman.

      (ps my wife is reading your comment over my back and I really want to sleep in the bed tonight and have something left of my car and socks tomorrow!) :)

  11. I’d rather see Claire Williams drive it herself…

  12. Wow a lot of sexist talk around here. I wonder how many of those claiming all these things about women in F1, are being stepped completely over by their wife at home.

    It’s 2015 guys, middle ages are behind us. If the person, being man or woman, is a capable driver, then there shouldn’t be any issues. Give Susie a break and close your laptop before the misses finds out you are outing your frustration by being supressed by her.

    1. First of, you don’t have to be mistreated by women to turn into a bigot, some people manage very well all by themselves.

      Women are held to a much higher standard in Formula 1. People forget how abysmally Luca Badoer performed in racing conditions after being a highly regarded test driver at Ferrari for ten years. The professions are different, and it’s a good thing Suzie Wolff is getting some time in the car to aide development work further into the season. Massa and Valteri are good enough not to be slowed down by half a day of setting consistent laptimes. But because she’s a woman it’s expected she performs at Alonso’s level, even if all that is required is consistency and productive feedback to engineers. She’s there to set the baseline, not push the limit.

      Of course her connections made the move to a driving position in Formula 1 easier, as if that makes her a rarity among her colleagues.

    2. +1m – see above!

      C%$p that was close!

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