Williams has no immediate plans to run development driver Susie Wolff in a Friday morning practice session following her test outing at Silverstone last week.
Wolff completed 89 laps on the final day of the young driver test last Friday and believes her pace relative to fellow rookie Dani Juncadella justifies her pursuit of a Formula 1 break. Williams, however, wants to give race drivers Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas the maximum track time given the team’s struggles.
“That’s not something that we have considered at the moment,” said Williams chief race engineer Xevi Pujolar when asked about the possibility of running Wolff on Fridays at the races. “The work we wanted to do [at Silverstone] is different to what we do on a race weekend and we haven’t considered that yet.”
Wolff has her sights set on creating an opportunity in F1, but believes a practice outing this year is not possible. She can at least apply for a superlicense which, as she completed over 500km of running at Silverstone, there is little doubt the FIA would grant.
“We have two great drivers so there is no possibility of Friday driving happening before the end of the season,” said Wolff. “But let’s see. I am not someone that likes to sit still, I always like to move forward, I always like to keep achieving so of course I want to see what the next step possible is now.”
Pujolar was impressed with the job Wolff did at Silverstone, and believes her headline laptime would have been more emphatic had she had access to more sets of tires.
“She did a good job,” he said. “She didn’t make any mistakes, she didn’t go off at all and made good progress with the new tires.
“To extract the potential of the new tire, probably she was missing a bit similar to what we had with Dani. With these tires, especially when you run on the mediums, if you don’t get the first or second lap you lose grip and then, by laps four or five, when they get more comfortable with the car the grip is not there.
“If we had more new tires, the performance would have been better but we had a limited amount of sets. It’s difficult with these tires to get the grip on lap one for someone who hasn’t got much experience with the car.”
F1’S LAST FEMALE GRAND PRIX DRIVER
Should Wolff run on a grand prix weekend in the future, she would be the first female driver to do so since 1992.
Giovanna Amati attempted to qualify for the first three grands prix of 1992 driving the desperately off-the-pace Judd-engined Brabham BT60B (LEFT) but was unable to make the grid for the South African, Brazilian and Mexican GPs. She was replaced for the next race by Damon Hill, who was only able to qualify twice in his eight appearances for the team.
The last female driver to start a world championship race was Lella Lombardi, who finished 12th driving a RAM-run Brabham in the 1976 Austrian GP.