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British GP: Williams feels for Susie Wolff after 'cruel' failure

The Williams Formula 1 team hopes Susie Wolff can show her full potential in Germany, after a "cruel" engine failure halted her running at the British GP.

Wolff made her F1 free practice debut at Silverstone on Friday morning, becoming the first female driver to participate in an official GP session since Giovanna Amati at the 1992 Brazilian GP, but lasted just four laps before a terminal engine failure ended her outing early.

Deputy team principal Claire Williams told AUTOSPORT her development driver had been cruelly robbed of the chance to show her skills.

"She's put in a huge amount of work; she has really put blood, sweat and tears into what she was going to do today, so for her to have had that happen shows life and F1 can be cruel sometimes," Williams said.

"She will bounce back and is already focusing on getting back in the car in Germany.

"The most important thing is that she didn't do anything wrong today, it was something wrong with the car.

"Who knows what she would have done if she had more time in the car, but we will wait and see what she can do in Germany."


Wolff told reporters after the session that the engine in her car was close to the end of its life before it failed, but that Williams expected it to last long enough for her planned three runs in Valtteri Bottas' car.

"Valtteri had his engine failure in Monaco, so we have to be a little bit more aggressive with his engine strategy, and if he'd been in the car this morning he'd have been driving with the same engine, so the same thing would have happened to him," Wolff explained.

"There was no option of having a different engine in this morning, it's just one of those things.

"Yes, it was close to the end of its life, but the team very much expected it to last the session."

Wolff said she had not yet discussed getting a replacement session at a future race, so free practice at Hockenheim in two weeks will likely be her last chance this season to showcase her abilities.

"It's massively disappointing, but that's racing. I've known over the years it can be massive ups and massive downs," Wolff added.

"Of course it's very, very disappointing I didn't get running today, because it's my home track, but on the positive side I've still got one more shot at it.

"I've got to go out in Hockenheim now and show what I can do."

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