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Susie Wolff: Her inspiring journey from racing driver to F1 boss

Susie Wolff: Her inspiring journey from racing driver to F1 boss

Susie Wolff: Her inspiring journey from racing driver to F1 boss

Susie Wolff: Her inspiring journey from racing driver to F1 boss

Susie Wolff has carved her own path in motorsport and is now paving the way for the next generation of female talent in Formula 1.

Born Suzanne Stoddart on December 6, 1982, in the charming coastal town of Oban, Scotland, Wolff's childhood was shaped by a family deeply connected to the world of motorsport.

Her parents, John and Sally Stoddart, owned a motorcycle dealership in the town, and her father was a competitive motorcycle racer himself, fostering in Wolff a love for speed and racing.

After blazing a trail as a racing driver, Susie is now a senior executive in the sport as Managing Director of the F1 Academy.

Early life

Susie Wolff got hooked on motorsports and started karting when she was only eight years old.

At the age of 13, she was awarded the title of British Woman Kart Racing Driver of the Year. In 1997, she won the 24-hour Middle East Kart Championship and the Scottish Junior Intercontinental A titles.

Wolff continued to excel, winning the British Woman Kart Racing Driver of the Year title for four consecutive years. In 2000, she was recognised as the Top Female Kart Driver in the World.

From karting to single-seater racing, and F1

In 2001, Wolff moved from karting to single-seater racing with the Formula Renault Winter Series. This marked the start of an impressive career in which she would compete in esteemed championships like Formula Renault UK, the British Formula 3 Championship, and the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM).

For six seasons, Wolff battled it out in DTM, achieving her best performance in 2010 with a 13th-place finish overall.

In 2012, Wolff made waves when she was announced as the development driver for Williams Racing. She kept the role until 2013 before becoming the official test driver for the Grove-based outfit.

In 2014, Wolff made history by becoming the first woman in over 22 years to participate in a Formula 1 race weekend, taking part in practice sessions for Williams Racing at the British Grand Prix.

While an engine issue ended her participation in that British GP weekend after just one lap, she later went on to drive in a free practice session at the German GP, finishing 15th and only 0.227 seconds behind team-mate Felipe Massa.

In 2015, she participated in two more grand prix weekends, including another practice session at Silverstone, where she secured a respectable 13th place.

By the end of the year, Wolff had announced her retirement from racing but remained deeply committed to the sport.

After retirement

After retiring in 2015, Susie Wolff became a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in the sport.

In 2016, she founded 'Dare to Be Different', an organisation that aims to inspire and empower the next generation of female talent and bring more women into motorsport.

Wolff has also remained a prominent figure in the media, serving as an analyst for Channel 4's F1 coverage.

READ MORE: F1 Commentators: Meet the Sky Sports and Channel 4 teams including Martin Brundle, Naomi Schiff and Danica Patrick

In the same year, she became an ambassador for 'She's Mercedes', inspired by the German marque's 'Best or Nothing' mantra.

In 2017, Wolff was awarded an MBE for her contribution to women in sports.

Formula E and F1 Academy

In 2018, Wolff stepped into team management and ownership, becoming the team principal and shareholder of ROKiT Venturi Racing.

In 2021, she was promoted to the role of Chief Executive Officer. Under her leadership, ROKiT Venturi Racing achieved its most successful season ever, securing a vice-world championship.

In 2022, Wolff announced her departure from the team and Formula E, leaving many people wondering what her next move would be.

The answer came in March 2023, when she was appointed as the Managing Director of the F1 Academy, a new all-female racing series that aims to provide a stepping stone for young female drivers aspiring to reach the pinnacle of motorsport.

Susie Wolff and that FIA controversy

Susie and her Mercedes F1 team principal husband, Toto Wolff, were the subject of a controversial FIA investigation in December 2023.

The investigation stemmed from allegations regarding the sharing of confidential information between an F1 team boss and a member of Formula One Management (FOM).

However, Susie Wolff came out fighting as she strongly rejected the allegations, saying on social media, "It is disheartening that my integrity is being called into question in such a manner, especially when it seems to be rooted in intimidatory and misogynistic behaviour, and focused on my marital status rather than my abilities."

The FIA closed the matter after facing a ferocious backlash, but the Wolffs consider it far from over.

Toto Wolff issued a statement claiming that there are now legal exchanges ongoing with the FIA, while Susie Wolff has also spoken out forcefully, criticising the lack of transparency and accountability in the investigation.

READ MORE: Wolff savages FIA investigation as Mercedes confirm 'legal exchange'

Personal life

In 2011, Susie and Toto Wolff tied the knot, solidifying a love story which had begun on the racetrack. Their paths crossed several years before their marriage, when Toto was a shareholder at the Williams F1 team.

Their wedding took place in 2011 on the picturesque island of Capri in Italy, and six years into their marriage, Susie and Toto welcomed their son, Jack, into the world in 2017.

Susie Wolff FAQ

Is Susie Wolff related to Toto Wolff?

Yes, Susie Wolff is married to Toto Wolff. They met on the racetrack, and eventually married in 2011.

Where is Susie Wolff from?

Susie Wolff is from Oban, Scotland.

Who is Susie Wolff?

Susie Wolff is a former Scottish racing driver and current Managing Director of the F1 Academy.

Did Susie Wolff race in F1?

No, Susie Wolff never competed in an F1 race. However, she was a test driver for Williams Racing from 2012 to 2015 and became the first woman in over 22 years to participate in an F1 race weekend when she took part in practice sessions for the 2014 British Grand Prix.

How tall is Susie Wolff?

Susie Wolff is approximately 1.68m tall, or 5 feet and 6 inches tall.

How old is Susie Wolff?

As of today, Susie Wolff is 41 years old.

READ MORE: Toto Wolff: An inspiring journey from early tragedy to F1 greatness

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