Williams tester Wolff is close yet still so far
By Alan Baldwin
LONDON (Reuters) - Susie Wolff will be back at the wheel of a Williams Formula One car in Barcelona on Friday with little in the way of fanfare but a clear aim in mind.
Last year, the 32-year-old Scot made plenty of headlines in a similar practice session at Silverstone when she became the first female driver in 22 years to take part in a Grand Prix weekend.
This time, her presence at the Circuit de Catalunya comes 40 years after the only F1 race in which a woman has finished in the points -- Italian Lella Lombardi's sixth place at the shortened 1975 Spanish Grand Prix..
If Wolff has made it less of a novelty to see a woman on track along with the men in F1, at least on a Friday, her dream of becoming the first woman grand prix racer since 1976 remains tantalizingly out of reach.
"I have performed in the car, I have shown I am capable, I’m in a very competitive team, I drive a car which is capable of podium positions," she told Reuters in an interview before heading to Spain.
"So I do feel very, very close but in the same respect very far away.
"Because when they announced (Adrian) Sutil as the reserve at Williams, that was a clear sign that ‘Yes, you’re close but you are also still very far away’."
Williams started the season without a reserve but with Wolff, whose husband Toto is head of Mercedes motorsport and a Williams shareholder, as development driver with young Briton Alex Lynn. Continued...