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“Thoughts on Susie Wolff and Le Mans”

February 22, 2013

Alas, due to a road traffic accident on Tuesday night that battered me greatly, some normally midweek posts may only hit TheMotosportArchive.com today.

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Following the launch of the FW35 machine, Williams Formula 1 development driver Susie Wolff made some rather odd comments to Autosport regarding her future endeavours.

Speaking to the magazine’s Edd Straw and Aleksandra Jurczak, the 30-year-old former DTM driver revealed her desire to explore GT racing; however Wolff declared a possible shot at Le Mans a no goer {note 1}.

Wolff, who is the wife of Mercedes F1 executive director Toto Wolff, remarked “unfortunately, my husband has forbidden me from ever doing Le Mans, so that is off the programme.”

As with all things in described in text, some of the emotional context behind the quote may be missing, but considering Wolff’s position on the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, the manner of her declaration is rather disappointing.

There is no doubt Wolff is not the first driver to be discouraged from competing at certain events or tracks due perceived capacity for safety – indeed back in 1996, Rubens Barrichello’s wife was far from keen about the safety of ovals, when CART was a possibility for the Brazilian prior to the 1997 season.
However, Wolff’s comments may give the perception that her current career path is being heavily guided, even steered directly by her husband and as a member of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, Wolff’s influence may appear somewhat weakened.
Certainly words like “forbidden” do not do much to create a positive image of empowerment.

And this is about perception, which can often be too much of a story, while the truth is merely that lingering footnote which has a bad habit of getting in the way.

Of course, this may simply have been a poor choice of words on Susie Wolff’s part, leaving the quote to be blown out of all proportion.

{note 1}
“Susie Wolff keen to add GT campaign to Williams Formula 1 duties” (Autosport.com; Edd Straw and Aleksandra Jurczak)

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