F1 test driver Susie Wolff to retire after Race of Champions

Sport360 staff 12:32 04/11/2015
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Calling it a day: Susie Wolff.

British racing driver Susie Wolff has announced that she will retire from motor sport at the end of the season.

Wolff became the first female to take part in a Formula One race weekend in more than two decades in first practice at last year’s British Grand Prix.

But the Scot, who joined Williams in 2012, announced on Wednesday she is to call time on her motor racing career.

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“I’d like to thank Williams for the opportunity they have given me over the last few years which has allowed me to achieve my dream of driving a Formula One car,” Wolff said in a statement.

“It has been great to work with everyone at the team, both at Grove and trackside, and I’d like to thank everyone who has been part of my journey at Williams.

“I am now closing this chapter but looking forward to new challenges in the future.”

Wolff also took part in practice for the German Grand Prix last year as well as sessions in Spain this season and again at Silverstone.

But Wolff, who is married to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, does not believe the sport is ready for a female racing driver in the near future.

Writing in a blog on the Huffington Post, Wolff, 32, added: “My progression into Formula One came to represent so much more than a racing driver simply trying to reach the pinnacle of the sport.

“It was also the hope that finally there may again be a female on the starting grid.

“I rode the wave, was energised by all the support and fought hard. There were those who wanted it to happen. Those who didn’t.

“I can only tell you, I gave it my all. Do I think F1 is ready for a competitive female racing driver that can perform at the highest level? Yes. Do I think it is achievable as a woman? Most definitely. Do I think it will happen soon? Sadly no.

“We have two issues: not enough young girls starting in karting at a young age and no clear role model. Sometimes you just have to see it to believe it.

“My gut feeling tells me it is time to move on.”

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