Susie Wolff says Lewis Hamilton’s criticism of F1 is ‘absolutely valid’

“I’m someone who’s been in the paddocks with Lewis from a very young age,” Wolff said. “I remember him when he was 8, and I was a little older in karting, and I think his comments are absolutely valid and in the end he knows what it is because he saw it. And we have to take into account that his experiences are real experiences. This is why, although he is one of the few successful black pilots, we have to take into account what his experiences have been to make sure we can improve him for the next generation.

“While we think the sport may not be racist, if Lewis tells us it is from his own personal experience and it matters a lot.”

After retiring as a driver in 2015, Wolff started the non-profit organization Dare to be Different with the aim of getting more women involved in motorsport. This has now partnered with the Girls on Track initiative led by motorsport’s governing body, the FIA.

Wolff joined Venturi Racing as Team Principal in 2018 and is committed to the FIA’s new PurposeDriven movement, a commitment to bring positive change to society and equal opportunities.

With the Scotsman at the helm, Venturi is Formula E’s most diverse team with a third of the key roles held by women. On the track, there has never been a woman on the starting grid of a Formula 1 Grand Prix and a woman has not competed in Formula E since 2016. But Wolff says that shouldn’t be there. ‘goal.

“What I think needs to be changed is the fact that we need to attract more women at the grassroots level. We have to get more little girls to go karting, we have to get more little girls interested in motorsport, so that the best can then reach the top. . It’s just a numbers game. “

Susie Wolff, Team Director of Venturi Racing, watches the New York E-Prix in July 2019.

The electric race returns

Wolff spoke with Amanda Davies directly from Berlin Tempelhof Airport, where the Formula E season will resume with six races in nine days, starting August 5. The all-electric 2019-2020 season was cut short in March after just five rounds due to the coronavirus pandemic. .

“From a really selfish point of view, I’m so happy to be back on a track,” Wolff admitted. “I’m so happy to be back in the race and I think in the end we wanted to end this season, and with so much instability and so much, let’s say, not knowing what the future has in store for us. terms of another lockdown, I think ending the season here was the right move. ”

Lewis Hamilton survives 'heart in mouth' finish to win British Grand Prix
As per German government guidelines, a maximum of 1,000 people are allowed on site at any time during the season six finale. Two days before the first race, 1,421 people tested received negative results and two received positive results. These two have entered self-quarantine.

“Of course there is an element of concern,” Wolff continued. “Most of the team are here and I would hate for someone to run into problems and have real health issues, but I think the reality is that we are all determined to get back to racing. We have confidence. total in Formula E and the leadership of Formula E that they have gone through strict protocols to be allowed to do this race. So in the end we wear our masks, we practice social distancing, there is hand disinfection everywhere. ”

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The Wolffs

Susie Wolff already has an idea of ​​what to expect without any fan attending the British Grand Prix at Silverstone last weekend with her husband Toto Wolff, team manager and CEO Mercedes F1.

“There was no atmosphere because (there were) no fans. And that was really missing but in fact when the race started it was still as exciting and thrilling as ever. .

“Obviously we miss the fans terribly and I can’t wait for it to get back to normal and people to come back here, our partners to be back here, to experience that adrenaline and emotion with us.”

Toto and Susie Wolff in the Paddock during qualifying for the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone on July 9, 2016.

Under Toto Wolff’s leadership, Mercedes has won six consecutive double Formula 1 World Championships. Although she is “extremely proud” of her husband, after two years as a team leader, Susie Wolff is leading her team in her own direction.

“I’m a very different leader than he is because we’re different characters and I’m a very genuine person. You see what you get with me.

“Granted, there were a few moments in my freshman year where I really wondered what I got myself into. But now we’re at a point where the team has a great structure. We’ve made tremendous progress. since I arrived and it’s fantastic to be part of such a team and I’m absolutely delighted to take on the challenge, enjoy all the races we can get to and still learn a lot from Toto. But yeah, standing on my two feet at the same time. “

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