Susie Wolff begins career at Silverstone.
Susie Wolff became the latest woman to drive a Formula One car Wednesday, but couldn’t help but think of Maria de Villota, who lost her right eye and suffered serious head and facial injuries during a horrifying crash in July which ended her racing career.
Wolff, a development driver for the Williams F1 team, admitted that the accident had been on her mind during her first day behind the wheel at Silverstone, and felt that women had something to prove in the sport.
“After the publicity surrounding Maria’s accident without doubt I felt an extra need to go out there, do a good job and show that her accident was a freak one-off and it doesn’t generalise women in motorsport,” Wolff told www.autosport.com.
“I spoke with Maria after her press conference last week, when she showed everyone that aside from being a great racing driver she is an exceptional lady.
“The strength and dignity she showed after such an accident, to fight back from nearly dying, was quite phenomenal and I said that to her.
“She said ‘it’s up to you now to show that we can do it, you’re driving for both of us’ and today I had her in my thoughts, and had her star on my helmet.
“It was very important for me to go out for both of us today and show everybody that what happened was a freak accident and that actually women can drive F1 cars successfully. She was without a doubt with me.”
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