'Female to race in Formula 1 within a decade'
7 June 2012 – Newly-signed Williams development driver Susie Wolff is expecting a female to arrive on the Formula 1 grid within the next ten years, explaining that ‘prejudice in motorsport’ is slowly changing and allowing for women to progress further.
Only five women have contested a Grand Prix weekend in the past, while just two have actually started a race. Lella Lombardi is the most prominent of these, having picked up half a point by finishing sixth in the shortened Spanish Grand Prix of 1975.
"It would just take a massive leap of faith for one of the teams to give a female a chance. Many people within F1 would like to see it happen. Once the first female for some time gets into F1, then I think it will open up the possibilities for more to come through."
The 29-year-old - amongst other commitments - has been carrying out extensive simulator work since signing for the outfit earlier this year, with the possibility of a straight-line test later in the season. Despite admitting that a full-time drive is still far from being attained, she is hoping to prove her worth in the next few months.
"The dream is F1. I'm on that path, part of Williams, and that's a dream come true. Now I'm pushing hard to see where the dream goes."
The GP3 Series, one step below Formula 1's direct feeder category GP2, serves as a prime example of Wolff's belief. Britain's Alice Powell, Spaniard Carmen Jordá and Italian-born Vicky Piria are all currently racing in the championship's 26-strong field.