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Susie Wolff hungry for Formula 1 chance

Susie Wolff joined Williams in 2012 after seven years in the German Touring Car championship.

Story highlights

  • Susie Wolff to take part in practice sessions for two grands prix
  • Scot will become first woman in 22 years to feature in an F1 weekend
  • Development driver, 31, joined Williams in 2012

Despite being a sport well into its seventh decade, only two women have ever driven in Formula 1 but Susie Wolff is hoping she may just become the third.

On Monday, it was announced that the Scottish driver will become the first woman to take part in a F1 event of any kind in 22 years.

Already a development driver with British team Williams, the 31-year-old is scheduled to take part in the first practice sessions ahead of the British and Germans grands prix in July.

Read: Wolff driving women forward with F1 test

The last woman to drive an F1 car during a race weekend was Italy's Giovanna Amati, who failed to qualify at Interlagos in Brazil while driving for Brabham in 1992.

However, you have to go back to 1976 to find the last grand prix featuring a female driver when Lella Lombardi finished an F1 career that had started two years earlier.

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    Prior to that, another Italian -- Maria Teresa di Filippis -- raced for Maserati three times in 1958.

    Now Wolff has been given the chance to follow in their footsteps, even if such a prospect may take some time.

    'I'm grateful for the support and belief Williams continue to show in me and 2014 promises to be a very important milestone in my career," Wolff told the manufacturer's website.

    "My responsibilities within the team have steadily increased as I have proved myself, culminating in the opportunity to test the car at Silverstone and conduct straight line aero tests last season.

    "Competing in two (practice) sessions, alongside an additional full test day this season will be a big step and I am looking forward to the opportunity to get behind the wheel on a grand prix weekend.

    "It's a challenge that I will relish and it will be a great chance for me to continue assisting the team.''

    In a separate interview, Wolff stated that the possibility of taking part in practice sessions on a Friday meant she had to be eyeing up a chance at driving on the Sunday.

    "If you can take part in the Friday practice sessions, then of course you have to be looking at doing an actual race," she told the British Press Association.

    Growing Presence

    This may well be some time off though, with Brazilian Felipe Massa and Finland's Valtteri Bottas the two designated drivers for the forthcoming season.

    Wolff is not even the team's reserve driver since that role is taken by another Brazilian, 21-year-old Felipe Nasr.

    Having competed in the German Touring Car championship (DTM) for seven years, the Scot is married to Toto Wolff, a former Williams executive director who now holds that role at Mercedes.

    Yet Williams' Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds is adamant that Wolff deserves her place in the paddock.

    "Susie has become a valued member of our driver line up and 2014 will see her take on more responsibilities as we seek to make a strong step forward in performance," he told

    "Susie has demonstrated a natural talent for developing a car and providing strong feedback and these sort of characteristics will be key this season as teams seek to quickly understand and refine the radically overhauled 2014 cars.''

    Wolff joined Williams in April 2012 and has been credited with helping to develop various cars.

    Having impressed in a test at Silverstone last year, Wolff can boast good knowledge of both the track for the British grand prix and Hockenheim -- following her experiences there in DTM.

    Read: Williams' daughter promoted to deputy principal

    The news of Wolff's role comes 10 days after Swiss driver Simona De Silvestro joined Sauber with a view to competing in F1 next year.

    "After four years in IndyCar, Simona's ambition is to enter Formula one in 2015," said Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn.

    "We regard her as a very talented race driver, and we, therefore, decided to take her on board as an "affiliated driver" and support her on her way to the pinnacle of motorsport."

    Kaltenborn is one of several women in F1, with Claire Williams working as deputy principal at the Williams team founded by father Frank in 1977 -- one year after the last woman drove an F1 race.