Wolff answers critics during Silverstone test

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Susie Wolff’s efforts at Silverstone yesterday have answered many of her critics who claimed that she may be ‘undeserving’ of her role as reserve driver for Williams F1 Team.

The Scottish driver has raced in German touring car series DTM since 2006, scoring four points across seven seasons of racing, but she walked away from the championship at the end of last season in order to focus on her work for Williams.

In order to race in a grand prix, drivers are required to complete testing to secure an FIA superlicence, with Wolff’s testing at Silverstone going towards obtaining this as she hopes to become the first female to start a grand prix since Lella Lombardi in 1976.

During the test, Wolff finished an impressive 9th out of 16 runners, turning many heads as she proved her pace compared to her male counterparts.

Although she may not be in line for a full-time seat, Wolff has certainly established herself as a regular face in the F1 paddock for Williams, and the next step will be gaining a superlicense from the FIA in the near future.

You can read Wolff’s thoughts on her test here.

F1 2017 driver review: Esteban Ocon

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Esteban Ocon

Team: Sahara Force India
Car No.: 31
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P5 (Spain, Mexico)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 87
Championship Position: 8th

A shining star in Mercedes’ junior programme, Esteban Ocon vaulted fellow youngster Pascal Wehrlein in the pecking order to secure a seat at Force India for 2017 – and boy, did he live up to the hype.

Ocon arrived at Force India with half a season of racing under his belt after his outings with Manor late in 2016, but wasted little time in settling in, scoring points on debut in Australia after winning a thrilling three-way fight with Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso.

The Frenchman spent much of the year close to teammate Sergio Perez – even if things did get a little too close in Canada, Baku and, finally, Spa, prompting the team to introduce team orders – and impressed the entire paddock with his displays.

While no podium was forthcoming, Ocon was often leading the midfield fight, enjoying three straight finishes ahead of Perez from Japan to Mexico. Given how well Perez is rated on-track in the paddock, to have convincingly beaten him in such fashion did a lot for Ocon’s reputation.

The term ‘Oconsistency’ also came into F1’s dictionary as he set a new record for consecutive finishes from his first race, with his retirement in Brazil ending the streak at 27 grands prix. It was also his first retirement in a single-seater race since the 2014 Macau Grand Prix.

The highlight moment arguably came at Monza, though, when Ocon stuck his Force India third on the grid through torrential rain in qualifying. While he would drop to P6 at the checkered flag, the display nevertheless cemented his place as one of F1’s rising stars.

Mercedes rates Ocon very highly, and with Valtteri Bottas’ future beyond 2018 already being questioned by the paddock, a good season could see the youngster move on up to the top table of F1 for 2019. His progression in the next 12 months will be fascinating to keep track of.

Season High: Lining up P3 on the grid at Monza after a rainy qualifying.

Season Low: Clashing with Perez in Baku, costing Force India a possible podium.