For all the denials emanating from the team's garage at the Nurburgring, Williams has confirmed that 2013 reserve Susie Wolff will
be among the drivers taking part in this week's Young Driver test at Silverstone.
The Scot, who was promoted to her role at the start of the season, will run alongside reigning F3 Euroseries champion Daniel Juncadella during the 17-19 July session, while race regular Pastor Maldonado will also take part to conduct tyre evaluation under the revised test regulations announced following the German Grand Prix.
Wolff has been part of the Williams F1 Team since becoming Development Driver in April 2012. She made her F1 debut putting the FW33 through its paces at a Williams partner event at Silverstone last October and was given an increased programme in the team's simulator for 2013. She was the first to get behind the wheel of this year's race car when she drove the FW35 during aerodynamic testing at Idiada in February.
“It's a fantastic opportunity for me, so now it is up to me to prepare myself the best that I can for the day,” Wolff commented, “It's going to be a big challenge, but the most important thing is to do a solid and consistent job and to give good feedback to the team to be able to prove I am at the level to compete on a day such as this.
“Most of my work is based in the simulator, which is why this day is so important for me. It will give me a better understanding of what the car is like on track and how that correlates to the simulator which will also help further develop the work I can do there.”
Juncadella, meanwhile, is currently racing in the DTM for Mücke Motorsport, having impressed in a number of single-seater categories over the last few years. The 22-year old was runner-up in the 2009 Formula BMW Europe series before going on to win the prestigious Macau Grand Prix in 2011 and become F3 Euroseries champion in 2012.
“It's an important test for any young driver as there aren't many opportunities to drive an F1 car,” Spaniard Juncadella admitted, “I had my first taste of F1 as a prize for winning the 2012 F3 Euroseries title, but it was a 2009 car so I therefore see this as being the real deal, having the chance to drive a current car in a full test.
“I've spent a couple of days at the factory getting to know the team and I felt at home. Looking at the history of the team is also amazing and so to get this chance with Williams, a team so many great drivers have raced for, makes it even more special.”
Following the recent regulation changes to the Young Driver Test, which now permit current F1 race drivers to take part in order to conduct tyre evaluations for Pirelli, both drivers will split time with Maldonado, who will get a full day behind the wheel of the FW35 to work on tyre development.
“It is great that we are able to give Susie the opportunity to have a full day behind the wheel of the FW35 following all the hard work and dedication she has put in both supporting us at the track and in the simulator, [while] Daniel is a young talent who has had a great deal of success over the past few seasons and we're excited to give him the chance to see what he can do behind the wheel of an F1 car,” technical director Mike Coughlan concluded.