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Wolff: Formula 1 no longer a man’s world

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Former Williams test driver Susie Wolff believes that Formula 1 is no longer a man’s world thanks to the increasing numbers of women working in the paddock and enjoying high-profile roles.

Wolff became the first woman in 22 years to take part in a grand prix weekend when she represented Williams in practice for the 2014 British Grand Prix.

Wolff took part in a further three practice sessions before announcing last month that she would be retiring from motorsport at the end of 2015.

Despite never starting a grand prix, Wolff did a great deal to aid the profile of women in F1, as have the likes of Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn and Williams deputy boss Claire Williams.

Wolff believes that the increased presence of women in F1 will help to inspire future generations of women looking to work in motorsport.

“People tell me it’s a man’s world but it’s not any more,” Wolff told MotorSportsTalk. “There are many fantastic women working not only within Formula 1 but in many other different categories.

“I think we just need to celebrate them and make sure that we use them on the platform that we have now to inspire the next generation.

“I think we need more little girls starting at a young age so that the best rise to the top, and of course we just need to maybe give a little bit more attention and exposure to women who are doing a great job.

“There are some out there who are actually in lower categories very competitive. In my career, if I look back I was given two big chances: first with Mercedes-Benz in German touring car championship and then with Williams.

“We’ve got to get these girls getting chances and I will definitely dedicate some time and energy to helping them.”

Andretti Autosport picks James Hinchcliffe for last 3 races of season

Andretti Autosport James Hinchcliffe
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James Hinchcliffe will finish the NTT IndyCar Series season for Andretti Autosport, replacing Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda.

The team made the announcement Friday afternoon that Hinchcliffe will return after racing for Andretti at Texas Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Indianapolis 500.

Hinchcliffe, who also has worked as an IndyCar on NBC analyst and pit reporter, will race in the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

“It’s always unfortunate to have to change drivers this far into a season, but we have to look at finishing the year the best we can for the 26 team and start evaluating and looking at options for 2021,” team owner Michael Andretti said in a release. “James has an existing relationship with our team that we’d love to build on and it makes the most sense for him to step in for these last three races. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Hinchcliffe has a season-best finish of seventh in the Indy 500. He had been working on trying to put together a deal for next season after scrambling to secure a partial schedule this year when he lost his ride at Arrow McLaren SP after 2020 with a year left on his deal.

VEACH OUT: Driver elects to vacate seat for rest of season

“I know, probably better than most, what Zach is feeling right now, and I have to say that he has handled everything about as class act as you can,” Hinchcliffe said. “I’ve known Zach as a teammate, before that as a colleague and even before that as a friend, and he is a guy that I respect in every way. I know he is a fighter and will fight back to where he wants to be.

“For me now, my focus is 100% on racing the Harvest GP and getting the best possible results for Gainbridge, for Honda, for Michael and for the team. I obviously haven’t been on a road course in a while, but at least the last time I was, it was here at IMS! Hopefully that puts us in a good position to go out there and have a strong weekend.”