Felipe Massa says that Susie Wolff is under pressure to show what women drivers can do as she drives a Formula 1 car for the first time during a race weekend.
Wolff is a development driver with Massa's team Williams Martini Racing, and will drive the car in this morning's first Silverstone practice session before the race on Sunday. Massa says that he hopes she can show what women drivers are capable of.
Asked on Thursday evening whether he could see women drivers racing in Formula 1 again in the future, he replied, "They can. Everything depends on her [Susie Wolff]. It depends on what she can do tomorrow. It is very important to use her talent to show what she can do in this important moment. Tomorrow is an important moment, so I hope the best for her."
31-year-old Wolff will become the first female driver to take part in a race weekend in 22 years. Italian Lella Lombardi was the last woman to race in an F1 Grand prix in 1976.
"Susie is a very professional racer, she’s working a lot on the simulator, she’s trying to help the team from a development point of view," said Massa ahead of her first race weekend drive. "It’s always very nice to work with her. This is the first time she will drive the car on a race weekend, so it will be very important for her. I will try to help her in everything I can. I hope she can be competitive and I hope she can have fun as well driving here in Silverstone.
"It’s the first practice session, so we will be trying out our setup for the race, working on aerodynamics on the car. It’s just the start, and she will do important things that the team needs," he continued.
Massa's Williams Martini teammate Valterri Bottas added that her performance in the car would be useful for the team, assuring that it would not be a "session wasted."
"It’s a great opportunity for Susie. There’s a plan in place for her to do some aerodynamic testing in the car," Bottas said at the unveiling of the new Williams Martini Racing motorhome. "We can get good data from that, and even though it’s a different driver we can get all the information we need from that session. I’d still prefer to be in the car myself, but that’s just how it is. I’ll need to deal with it. It’s not a session wasted."
Massa, Bottas and Wolff are all drivers for Williams Martini Racing. To learn how to make the perfect MARTINI Royale please visit www.mixedcocktails.com and download the app.