Susie Wolff has sought to distance herself from all the rumours and small-talk surrounding her position with the Williams F1 team, insisting that she just wants to focus on the job in hand.
The Scot, who is married to Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff, is now in her second year on the Williams reserve roster but, with no sign of a race drive on the horizon, maintains that she just wants to be able to do the job that she was hired for, contributing to the team's rise back up the F1 pecking order.
Adamant that she could perform competitively
if given the chance, Wolff just wants to be left to get on with her responsibilities.
“A lot has been spoken recently about [the suggestion] that I was disappointed with [Adrian] Sutil's appointment [as Williams' official reserve], and some talking about a women's' championship, but really I want to take myself out of all that now,” she claimed, “I am lucky enough to have an opportunity to drive for a great team and to drive in FP1 sessions and test days. My frame of mind is to optimise every time I am in the car, to learn as much as I can, to make sure I am always improving as a racing driver, that I am bringing something to the table, I am doing what is expected, and then see where that brings me.
“It is very difficult in this environment because we know things change quickly, but I am not somebody that lets my head get down. I am pretty realistic. Yes, I am close, but I am very far away, I know that, but I was really looking forward to getting in the car because, for me, that is the best part of the job, just driving, and that speaks more than a thousand words can.”
Admitting that 90 minutes of free practice and the occasional test day is not as ,much track time as she would like, Wolff also acknowledges that her contribution remains vital to the team's progress.
“I am lucky to work with two great engineers, so we come to it with a certain approach,” she revealed, “I know where I can push, where I can run off the track if I push too hard, and I know the places where, if I go off, I will have a big shunt. It is quite an analytical approach - where is the most lap time to be had, where can I push without the risk of damaging the car - and there is a lot of preparation that goes into getting ready for this, because it is tough to jump in the car and go.
“You have to be prepared because it is not an easy situation to jump into one of the race driver's cars and try and do a good job but, at the same time, get the car back in one piece and get the data for the team. I would love nothing more than to do FP2 because, what I have learnt in FP1, I want to do again and do better. That won't happen, so it is about analysing the session about what I did right, what can I do better next time and focus on what I am doing in the car.”
The former DTM driver, who can look forward to forthcoming outings during testing at the Red Bull Ring and then the FP1 session at Silverstone, insists that she is in no rush to apply for a full race superlicence.
“I will get a superlicence when I need one,” she claimed, “I won't start campaigning for one if there is no actual need to have one - and it is not because I am not too tight to pay for one!
“I think I would still qualify for the Friday superlicence, but I can't apply for superlicences and hope
I will do a race until I see that a race is close to happening, which it is not right now. I won't jump ahead of myself but I would like to think that, if the opportunity came, the superlicence is not going to be the stumbling block.”