Susie Wolff has set her sights on driving in a Grand Prix after an announcement on Monday that she will become the first woman in 22 years to take part in a Formula One event of any kind.
Already a development driver with British team Williams, the 31-year-old Scot will take part in the first practice sessions ahead of the British Grand Prix and German GP in July.
Not since Giovanna Amati, who failed to qualify in the 1992 Brazilian GP for Brabham, has a woman driven a Formula One car over a race weekend.
Wolff hopes her knowledge of the Silverstone and Hockenheim circuits will help her end up on a race-day grid.
“I’ve driven the car at Silverstone (in a test) last year so I have a bit of experience with the track, and Hockenheim I know well from my time in German touring cars.
“If you can take part in the Friday practice sessions, then of course you have to be looking at doing an actual race.
“It’s about doing a good job each step of the way and, if I do that in the practice sessions, then the next natural progression will be taking part in a race.”
Wolff aims to follow Italy’s Maria Teresa di Filippis – racing for Maserati three times in 1958 – and Lella Lombardi – with 12 races in the 1970s – as the only female drivers to have competed in Formula One GP races.
“I’ve been made aware of the history of it … For me, it’s more important to be doing a good job and contributing to the team and to be given the chance, not because of the history, but because of merit and the job I do for the team.”
Williams’ chief technical officer Pat Symonds said there was nothing ‘tokenistic’ about Wolff’s role.
“Susie has become a valued member of our driver line-up and 2014 will see her take on more responsibilities …
“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.”
Grid rivals Sauber recently announced Simona De Silvestro had joined them as an affiliated driver to try to gain the superlicence required to compete in Formula One.