Susie Wolff, Formula One’s leading lady, has announced her retirement from motorsport this morning.
Susie is a development driver for Williams and has taken part in practice sessions for Formula One in the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Susie describes her journey as starting when she was aged eight on a kart track on the west coast of Scotland. For her, to finish it by representing her country at the Race of Champions is a fitting finale.
In 2013, we published an exclusive interview with Susie Wolff, where she spoke at length about what it is like to be an up-and-coming female in a male-dominated environment.
Today, Susie expands on these ideas:
‘My progression into Formula 1 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.
Susie’s personal standout moments have been:
Susie has enjoyed many other successes, such as being awarded an Honorary Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh in recognition of her role as an ambassador for women in sport, and becoming the first woman to take part in an F1 weekend for more than 20 years when she drove in four practice sessions at Silverstone last year.
Susie has spoken about the lack of female role models in motorsport as one of the main reasons why she doesn’t see there being a female F1 champion any time soon.
Now, Susie is collaborating with the MSA (Motor Sports Association) to launch a new initiative aimed at inspiring young women to take up motorsport.
‘I want to give something back and help the next generation… I dared to be different, I want to inspire others to do the same.’