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Having driven for the Mercedes-Benz DTM team for the past several years, Susie Wolff has now been signed on board the Williams F1 team as a development driver.
As the newest member of the team, Wolff will help out in the development of the team’s simulator, aerodynamic testing on the FW34 chassis, and even take on a full track test at an upcoming grand prix. Born in Scotland, the female driver will participate in her seventh season in DTM for 2012.
“I would like to thank Sir Frank for giving me this opportunity both on and off the track. I must also thank Mercedes Benz AMG and HWA for supporting me to take up this new experience with Williams. Formula One is the ultimate challenge for any racing driver and it offers me the chance both to apply and to improve the skills I have developed racing in DTM. In return I shall be offering some of my own technical insight and experience – coming from a different discipline – and helping the team engage with its partners. I hope also to demonstrate that women can play a role at the highest levels of motorsport and I shall be working closely with the team on its social responsibility programme in the areas of education and road safety,” said Susie Wolff.
The always classy Bernie Ecclestone was happy to hear the addition of Susie Wolff to Formula One saying that if she’s “as quick in a car as she looks good out of a car then she will be a massive asset to any team and on top of that she is very intelligent.” Good thing he brought up her good looks before her intelligence.
BMW-Sauber team will ride out 2009 season but will not return for 2010.
BMW will not return to Formula One after the 2009 season, the company said yesterday in a press release. After watching the BMW-powered Williams cars flounder, BMW decided to buy a majority stake in the team in 2005, (re-naming it BMW-Sauber), in the hopes that under strict corporate control it could be victorious. That would not be and BMW’s lack of success, particularly this year where it has just 8 points in 10 races and sits eighth overall, was a significant factor in the withdrawal.
The other major factors include the massive costs incurred in running an F1 team as well as what BMW says is a new corporate strategy.
“Resources freed up as a result are to be dedicated to the development of new drive technologies and projects in the field of sustainability,” read the statement.
Team boss Mario Theissen said BMW is now looking for a buyer for its team. With BMW done, it leaves just four manufacturers competing in motorsports’ top tier championship: Ferrari, Renault, Toyota and McLaren/Mercedes. Three other manufacturers are expected to join F1 next year.
BMW’s decision comes several months after Honda pulled from Formula One in December.
[Source: Automotive News]