• German GP - FP1

Wolff lauds 'important step forward'

Laurence Edmondson at Hockenheim
July 18, 2014 « No teams using FRIC in Germany | New set-up a challenge - Hamilton »
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Williams development driver Susie Wolff said her first full practice session at the German Grand Prix was an "important step forward" in her dreams of becoming a full F1 race driver.

After the disappointment of Silverstone two weeks ago, when her debut FP1 run lasted just four laps before an engine problem, Wolff completed 24 laps at Hockenheim. Although a race seat remains unlikely, Wolff said Friday morning had been an important step towards her goal.

"It would be lovely to get back in the car for FP2, and to then start the whole race weekend," Wolff said. "But as we know it's tough to get into that position, and for me it's one step at a time. Today was an important step forward, it was a successful free practice one session, so now the aim is the next step, and as we all know that's pretty tough.

"Regarding the women in motorsport side, I think if me being out there today was inspirational to just more than a couple of women or girls watching then I think it is a step in the right direction. But I've always said I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't think it was possible so for me it was just the next natural step on my Formula One journey."

Wolff had a bit of a scare when her car got stuck in first gear on her opening lap, but she returned to the track soon after to set a time just over 0.2s off team-mate Felipe Massa.

"I had a little bit of a worry at the beginning to get back to the pits because of a problem, but as soon as they said 'okay, we can fix it, I thought 'oh, thank goodness'. After that it was a case of going for it. On the first run it was about building up pace, on the second it was again new tyres, and the third was about aerodynamic work. It all felt fantastic, the team did such a good job in getting me ready for today, and it felt so good to be out there, to be pushing and to finally be doing a proper session."

Wolff said the only downside was picking up two speeding penalties in the pits, costing Williams €2,000.

"I've just come out of the debrief and the team were happy. The only small downside is I've picked up two pitlane speeding fines so quite an expensive morning! But apart from that I'm happy with how the morning went."

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