Susie Wolff has said she is pleased with how she performed during the Young Driver Test at Silverstone and she believes she has now proved she has the pace to compete at the top level.
The 30-year-old, who is Williams' official test and development driver, ran on the final day notching 89 laps in total and finishing up ninth quickest overall on a 1 minute 35.093 seconds, 2.2 seconds off the top time posted by Sebastian Vettel. On the combined times
that left her 23rd overall, roughly a second off Williams
race driver, Pastor Maldonado
and a similar amount off European F3 Champion, Daniel Juncadella, who tested for the Grove-based squad on Wednesday and Thursday.
“My goal [in terms of lap time] was a 1m 34s so I just missed that. But I've always said I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't think it was possible and I believe in myself,” Susie told Sky Sports F1
“It's quite hard after such a tough end to my DTM career, many people presumed that I was just always at the back and wasn't quick enough, but I think today can show that that was possibly an unfair judgement.”
“Ultimately a race team is going to put the best driver they can in the race car because they want performance and for me it was important today to show that I had the performance,” she added.
“It was important to show that given the limited number of laps that I had I can be on the pace... and if that has more meaning for other people because I am female then of course I'll use that to my advantage. But I'm not going to play that card as a way of 'give me the drive right now because I'm a girl and I was fast enough'. At the end of the day there was a lot of great performances over the three days, we're all fighting hard to get into F1 and I've got to also keep fighting hard.”
Wolff also insisted that she had no problems in terms of fitness: “Physically it wasn't easy, but it was what I was expecting. I was well prepared so it was completely manageable,” she continued. “My only problem was my seat as I was moving around a little. The team did a great job though getting me through the day, talking me through everything step by step.
“In hindsight it would have been good to run the new tyres later in the day after I'd had more time in the car as I don't think I got the best out of the medium tyres. But overall it was a fantastic experience and doing the pitstops this afternoon was also really beneficial as there is a lot to think about coming into the stops.”
Williams chief engineer, Xevi Pujolar, meanwhile felt she had performed well: “Susie did some aero tests this morning while she familiarised herself with the car and then we moved onto some performance and development work with her. In the afternoon we combined some general running with live pitstop practice. [Overall] she did a great job for us today.”