The Wolff of Racing

Emina Awan
4 min readMar 22, 2021
Line up of F1 cars

In many sports, including racing, everyone talks about the male side of the industry. People don’t know there are female racers, female engineers, until they are actually mentioned. The biggest competitor in Formula One to this day is Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. Everyone knows about it’s team principle, Toto Wolff. But there is another Wolff on the team.
Yoda meme

Her name, is Susie Wolff, wife of Toto Wolff. When she was only eight years old, Susie began karting at a club level. As she progressed, she started to participate in karting championships in Scotland and England. At age 14, she earned the top positions at both European and international levels in karting. She continued this adrenaline packed dream of becoming a Formula One driver.

Susie Wolff in Renault

She had her first debut in 2001 when she started with Formula Renault. In 2003, she was selected as British Racing Drivers’ Club Rising Star, and in 2003 and 2004, she qualified as the only woman for the final round of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award. The following year she jumped into the British F3 International Series, but was only able to race 4 times before she broke her ankle, forcing her to back out.

Before it was the end of her racing career, she received an offer from Mercedes-Benz, and was invited to a Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters test. A week later he signed a factory driver contract with Mercedes Benz.

Susie Wolff in DTM

Her debut Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters was in 2006, finishing her firs

t race in the top 10. She had solid performances and tough battles, some being in tough conditions, earning her team’s respect. 2010 was her most successful season, finishing 7th place at Lausitzring and at Hockenheim, earning points as the first woman in DTM after almost 20 years. In her 5th season, she ended ahead of her brand colleagues Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard.

73 races and 7 seasons with Mercedes-Benz in DTM, but she was still hungry for that Formula One seat.

Susie Wolff in Williams F1 car

2012 was the year she got into Formula One, with an offer from the Williams F1 Team to be a development driver. Her first F1 test was at the end of 2012, and had her status increased to be the first driver to test the new 2013 car, and to attend every F1 Grand Prix as a development driver. She continued with Williams until November, 2015, where she announced that she was retiring from Formula One, and instead focussed on getting more women into motorsports.

In 2016, she became an ambassador for Mercedes, and 2018 became the Team Principle of Venturi Racing in Formula E.

Team picture

Ever since I first started watching Formula One a couple years ago, I have always had a dream to become part of a racing team, learning what it takes to become an engineer. Susie Wolff has been one of the biggest inspirations I have, because I have seen that no matter what results you get, good or bad, there is always a way around things. She may not have been the Lewis Hamilton of Formula One, but she still made her way up the ranks, learning as she goes and taking things one step at a time. She has been so inspiring and amazing to watch as I have got into Formula One, and I’m hoping one day I could potentially meet her!

Those two values I have been implementing often now, as some days progress and results seem hard to come by. It has been a bit tough for me, as I love to see results, but no matter what I do, there are only a few successes, and many setbacks. But it’s just like racing, you make sure to go one corner at a time, plan ahead, and if I crash, get back up and get moving again. I know that I am working hard, and step by step I am making my way up the ranks, just like how Susie has.

Thank you so much Susie for being a huge inspiration for me! For those of you interested, here are links to her socials: