Cover Image for “The final chance was denied”- $540 million worth Toto Wolff insists his wife deserved Williams seat more than Felipe Massa

“The final chance was denied”- $540 million worth Toto Wolff insists his wife deserved Williams seat more than Felipe Massa

Somin Bhattacharjee
|Wed Aug 17 2022

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is married to Susie, who is a pioneer for women in motorsports and was a test driver for Williams in F1. 

Susie Wolff is one of, if not the most influential figure in women’s motorsports today. She has had a distinguished career in racing, competing in prestigious events like Formula 3 and DTM. In 2012, she made history after Williams signed her as a development driver.

At the 2014 British GP, she became the first woman in 22 years to take part in an F1 race weekend. She was behind the wheel of the Williams during FP1, and to this date, that remains the last time a female driver drove an F1 car during a Grand Prix weekend.

There are plenty of talented women in racing. However, lack of financial support during their junior careers often hinders their growth in the racing circuit.

Two-time W-Series Champion Jamie Chadwick wanted to make a step up to F2 but was forced to remain in the women’s only series due to a lack of funding.

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Susie Wolff could have easily replaced Felipe Massa at Williams, insists Toto Wolff

Toto Wolff is the team principal of F1’s most successful team in recent years. His wife Susie too has been a key management figure in teams like Mercedes in F1, and until earlier this week, was the boss of Venturi racing in Formula E.

Toto feels that his wife deserved to drive in an F1 race, but couldn’t because of Felipe Massa. In 2014, Wolff proved to everyone that she had what it took to succeed in F1. During practice in Silverstone, she finished 15th out of 22 drivers and was only a few tenths behind Massa.

“She was within a few tenths of Felipe Massa,” Toto Wolff said to Financial Times. “The final chance was denied. Williams never dared to make that call.”

Having female drivers in F1 is something fans have longed to see for a long time. However, as things stand it does not seem likely in the near future, due to the gaps they face in their junior years. This is something Toto Wolff agrees with.

“I’m sure there are girls out there that can make it on merit,” the 50-year-old added.

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