Williams development driver Susie Wolff finally got the chance to get behind the wheel of one of her employer's F1 cars when she put an FW33 through its paces at a special partner event at Silverstone on Wednesday [17 October].
The Scot completed two 50km runs around Silverstone's International Circuit, the first on the full wet tyre in damp conditions and the second on the dry tyre. Up to now, her role as development driver has seen her work in the team's simulator, so the outing was a rare opportunity to sample 'the real thing' at a track.
Wolff joined Williams F1 in April 2012, becoming one of only a handful of women who have managed to breakthrough into F1, combining her role at Grove with a seventh season in the DTM.
"It was incredible to experience an F1 car for the first time," she admitted, "I've done a lot of simulator work since I joined the team, but nothing compares to the exhilaration of driving the real thing.
"The conditions were a little tricky as it was quite damp at the beginning of the run, but the track soon dried out. The team also did a fantastic job preparing me for today, giving me all the information I needed so that I was always in control."
The Scot, who is married to Williams CEO Toto Wolff, is the first female driver to get behind the wheel of an F1 car since former DTM sparring partner Katherine Legge tested for Minardi in 2005. Maria de Villota - whose recovery from injury Wolff marked during her run - was due to run straight-line tests on an airfield runway when she suffered her fateful accident earlier this year.