A unique and inspiring story set in the fast-paced world of Formula 1, Susie Wolff shares how she became a development driver for Williams F1 and an ambassador for Wings for Life and FIA Women in Motorsport. Susie motivates her audiences to dream big, always set goals, and remember that it is passion and character, not gender, that defines us.
One of the only women to ever compete in Formula 1, Susie Wolff shares her unique and inspiring story with audiences as a keynote speaker to remind us that it is passion and character that gets us around those tricky bends in pursuit of our goals.
From a family of racers, what started as a hobby quickly turned into a passion; she was already racing at club level by the time she was eight and had snagged the title of European and International champion by her early teens.
Since retiring from an extremely successful racing career in 2015, Susie has joined the Channel 4 team as a specialist analyst of F1 coverage.
Not one to have a quiet retirement, Susie also launched her latest project in 2016. Pioneering the forefront of breaking down prejudices, she is the figurehead and founder of her campaign Dare to be Different. The initiative aims to inspire the next generation of young women to dream big and learn some life lessons from ambassadors of the brand.
Watching Jensen Button win a Formula 3 race in 1996 was a turning point for Susie in her own quest to achieve her goals, this victory spurred her on to reach the highest echelons of the sport.
In 2001, Susie debuted in single-seater racing with Formula Renault. Two years later, selected as the BRDC Rising Star, she qualified as the only woman for the final round of the coveted McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award.
The following year, she made the leap into the British F3 International Series, but broke her ankle and had to withdraw. Happily, disaster turned to triumph when, only a few weeks later, Susie was signed to Mercedes Benz.
Susie’s DTM debut in 2006 saw her finish in the top ten, and she became part of the most popular touring car championships in the world. Her most successful season was 2010 when she finished seventh, and she ended her fifth season ahead of her brand colleagues Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard.
In 2012, Susie signed as Development Driver for the Williams F1 Team and made her first appearance in a full test in 2013. History was made when she became the first female in 22 years to drive on a Grand Prix weekend, first at Silverstone and then at Hockenheim, finishing only 0.227 seconds behind team-mate and World Champion Filipe Massa.
Following this success, Williams promoted Susie to Official Test Driver for the 2015 F1 season, which saw her take to the track in two FP1 sessions and two test days. She also conducted extensive simulator testing to help in the ongoing development of the team’s F1 cars.
She works as an FIA Women in Motorsport Ambassador as well as representing the Wings for Life Foundation that has set an ultimate goal to make spinal cord injury curable. Susie was also awarded an Honorary Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh 'in recognition of her role as an ambassador for women in sport' (she had interrupted her studies at Edinburgh's Business School in 2001 in order to turn professional).
Susie's progression in Formula 1 represents so much more than a racing driver simply trying to reach the pinnacle of the sport – her achievements are a celebration of women succeeding both on and off the track and an inspiration to anyone who dares to dream big.
Her speaking topics include:
- Women in sport
- Setting goals in order to achieve your dreams
- Overcoming adversity