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.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.