Susie Stoddart has stated her belief that there will be a 'successful female Formula 1 driver' in her lifetime – but stopped short of suggesting that it will be her.
The Scot makes no secret of the fact that her 'dream' is to make it to the very pinnacle of international motorsport, and indeed her 2008 Mercedes-Benz DTM team-mate and compatriot Paul di Resta could be set to make the leap in 2009 with Force India, should the rumours be believed.
Though Stoddart stresses that she is 'realistic' about where her career will lead her, she insists she is confident that a woman will break into F1 in the not-too distant future – and not merely to make up the numbers. It was suggested that IndyCar Series race-winner Danica Patrick may get a test with Honda this winter, but that has since been shelved.
“Not a world champion, but there will be a successful female F1 driver,” the Oban racer told the Glasgow Sunday Mail
on what she foresees. “That I am sure of.
“That is my dream, but I am realistic. First I have to be successful in DTM and show I deserve to be given the chance in F1.”
Stoddart is coming off the back of what she describes as a moderately successful season in the leading pan-European tin-top series with the three-pointed star, failing to score any points – taking a best finish of tenth at the Norisring in June – and achieving a highest starting spot of 15th at both the Norisring and Nürburgring and in the penultimate meeting at Le Mans, but she did show signs of improvement towards the end of the campaign.
“I'm satisfied but not totally happy,” the 25-year-old reflected. “I improved on last season with some good qualifying results and strong races, but I need to find more consistency and ultimate pace.”
Now hoping for another chance to break her DTM points duck in 2009, the first female ever to be nominated for the prestigious McLaren/Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year
award five years ago is in bullish spirits.
“To score points and beat my team-mates,” she fired straight back when asked about her objectives for next season. “They are in the same car and have the same opportunities.
“I never have fear when racing. I have respect, but fear slows you down. I've had two big accidents in the DTM, but I walked away with no injuries.”