Susie Wolff calls test “fantastic experience”

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Williams’ reserve driver Susie Wolff has called today’s test a “fantastic experience” as she took a step towards gaining her FIA superlicense required to race in Formula One.

Wolff completed 89 laps in the FW35 car today, posting a fastest time of 1:35.093 that was good enough to see her finish 9th of out sixteen runners at Silverstone. However, she did admit that the test was physically challenging.

“It was fantastic today,” Wolff explained in a team statement. “The team did a great job getting me through the day, talking me through everything step by step.

“Physically it wasn’t easy, but it was what I was expecting. I was well prepared so it was completely manageable.”

On the whole, Wolff was delighted to have completed the test for Williams.

“It was a fantastic experience.”

Williams’ chief engineer Xevi Pujolar was full of praise for Wolff following her work today.

“Susie did a great job for us today,” Pujolar said. “Overall we have had a successful test, gathering lots of data to take back to the wind tunnel and have some experience to know what to expect from the tyres in Budapest.”

Wolff’s test also marks an important step forward for women in motorsport as she looks to become the first full-time female driver in the sport.

Williams confirms Kubica and Sirotkin for Abu Dhabi F1 test

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Williams has confirmed that Robert Kubica will enjoy his third Formula 1 test outing with the team at the end-of-season running in Abu Dhabi next week as rumors grow regarding a possible race seat for 2018.

Almost seven years after his last F1 start, Kubica’s remarkable return from severe injuries sustained in a rally accident saw him enjoy two private tests with Renault before completing running with the team in a 2017-spec car in Hungary over the summer.

Reservations over Kubica’s capabilities prompted Renault to pass on giving him a seat, instead opting to hire Carlos Sainz Jr. for next year, only for Williams to become an alternative for the Pole.

Kubica tested a 2014-spec Williams at both Silverstone and the Hungaroring in recent months, and will now sample a 2017 car when he tests at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kubica will share track time with regular Williams racer Lance Stroll and Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin, who has worked with Renault over the past two years but also missed out on a 2018 seat.

“Williams Martini Racing is pleased to confirm it will run Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin for the Abu Dhabi Pirelli tire test, alongside current race driver Lance Stroll,” a statement from the team reads.

“The Pirelli tire test will take place over two days at the Yas Marina circuit during the week following the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“On day one Robert Kubica will drive the FW40 in the morning session, before Lance Stroll takes over in the afternoon.

“On day two Sergey Sirotkin will drive in the morning and afternoon sessions before handing over to Robert in the late afternoon.

“The test is aimed at evaluating 2018 candidate tires on behalf of the Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli.

“Williams is excited to have this opportunity to assess the new tyres across such an interesting range of drivers: Lance, as confirmed race driver for 2018, Robert with his huge experience, and Sergey as a very promising young talent in Formula 1.”

Williams denied earlier this week it has signed Kubica to partner Stroll for 2018, but indications are the deal looks very likely to go ahead, subject to the relevant paperwork and contracts being finalized.