Susie Wolff is a leading name in the motorsports industry. She is now the Managing Director of the F1 Academy, where she will be assisting in the development of the next generation of female drivers in racing. Her journey towards becoming Managing Director of the F1 Academy is an inspiring one.
Susie’s career in racing began at the age of eight, and she was named the British Women Kart Racing Driver of the Year multiple times. She took part in a range of karting categories, succeeding in the majority of them. Susie Wolff progressed to the British Junior International “A” Championship in 1998 and finished 10th overall in her first season. She also raced in the Federation Cup European International “A” Championship, finishing 11th overall. The next year, she finished 13th in the British Formula “A” Championship. In 2000, she improved her performance to finish 10th in the British Formula “A” and 15th in the Formula “A” World Championships, establishing herself as the world’s top female kart driver.
Wolff advanced to the British Formula 3 Series in 2005 to compete in the Championship Class for Alan Docking Racing. In June, Wolff made a one-off debut in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch. Susie entered the DTM world in 2006. (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters). She debuted for Mücke Motorsport. After racing in the DTM series for seven years, she announced her departure in 2012 and began to focus solely on her F1 career.
She was signed as a development driver for the Williams F1 team in 2012. Considering her performance as a development driver, she was granted the opportunity to drive in Free Practice sessions at the British and German Grand Prix during her third season with the team. She was the first woman to compete in an F1 weekend since 1992. Susie declared her retirement from all forms of racing in 2015 after four years in F1, but she wanted to put on one final performance by competing in Race of Champions alongside David Coulthard. Most people assumed that her retirement would be the end of her career in motorsports. But that was only the end of the beginning. Susie co-founded Dare to Be Different with Rob Jones. Dare to Be Different is a non-profit organisation dedicated to increasing female participation in motorsports. It had many well-known names in the motorsports world as ambassadors, ranging from Claire Williams to Tatiana Calderón.
After a two-year break from the game, she entered Formula E series not as a driver this time but as a Team Principal and Shareholder of Venturi Racing. The team performed admirably under her leadership. She was promoted as the team’s CEO in 2021. In 2022, she announced her departure from the team in light of the team’s renaming.
Susie was named Managing Director of F1 Academy, an all-female racing series, on March 1, 2023. In which she will be in charge of developing new female drivers and navigating the Formula 1 pyramid’s junior categories. Susie will report directly to Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, along with General Manager of F1 Academy Bruno Michel. Wolff has extensive motorsport experience as both a driver and a team leader. She has been a passionate supporter for women in racing, pioneering the Dare To Be Different campaign. She has experience in racing both on and off the track, having worked as an F1 Development Driver for Williams and racing in Formula Renault and DTM. Her tenure as Team Principal of the VENTURI Formula E organisation and, most recently, CEO of the team included directing the team’s highest Championship finish, P2 last season.
Wolff expressed excitement about the role she would play in the F1 Academy, stating that she is looking forward to helping to nurture the next generation of female drivers. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali stated that Wolff would be a big asset to the competition and that her previous racing knowledge would be useful to all of the drivers competing this year. Bruno Michel, General Manager of F1 Academy, noted that Wolff’s appointment was a significant statement and that she will play a pivotal role in shaping F1 Academy.
Ultimately, Susie Wolff’s appointment as Managing Director of the F1 Academy is an important step towards advancing gender equality in motorsports. Her strong racing career and expertise as a team leader qualify her for the position, and her commitment to boosting female involvement in racing through programmes like Dare to Be Different is noteworthy. The F1 Academy now has a strong leader in Wolff, who is dedicated to developing the next generation of female drivers and defining the future of racing. Her hiring is a wonderful step towards increased diversity and inclusion in sports.
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