Ex-Williams F1 tester Wolff launches women in motorsport initiative

Former Williams Formula 1 tester Susie Wolf has launched the 'dare to be different' initiative that aims to boost female participation in motorsport

Ex-Williams F1 tester Wolff launches women in motorsport initiative

Wolff, who retired from motorsport after last December's Race of Champions, has created the scheme in association with the MSA not just to encourage women into driving, but all aspects of the sport.

"When I decided to hang up my helmet it was very clear that I wanted to give something back," Wolff said.

"I wanted to make sure that I could pass on everything I'd learned because many people saw me as a role model, as a trailblazer, but the truth was I was just a driver trying to make it to the top of my sport.

"But if my story inspired others then I thought to myself, 'OK I have to do something with that', that's where the idea of dare to be different was born.

"It's an initiative together with the MSA and we just want to open up the world of motorsport and show that it's not quite as male dominated as it once was and there are many opportunities out there."

Dare to be Different will run five events during 2016 that will act as motorsport 'taster' sessions.

As well as encouraging more women into motorsport to create role models to further boost participation, Wolff - who was guest editor of a special Autosport edition about women in motorsport last August - hopes that the many already involved in prominent positions will also act as an inspiration for others.

"The first is that there are not enough girls starting at a young age," said Wolff when asked what the reasons for the lack of women racing in F1.

"Let's note forget F1 is the absolute pinnacle of our sport, so if you have 2000 boys trying to get to F1 and only 20 girls the chances of a girl reaching the top are very very slim.

"That leads onto the second issue; we don't have enough role models. Sometimes, you have got to see it to believe it.

"If a little girl has a passion for racing but she can't see anyone achieving in F1, it's difficult for her to be inspired.

"Those two problems I want to nail on the head with Dare to be Different.

"We are having five headline events where we are getting little girls to the kart track to try karting for the first time with a view to inspiring them.

"Not just on track, but off the track, they will be opened up to all avenues of the sport from engineering to fitness to journalism and we want to create role models and I want to create role models out of the fantastic women who are working in the sport."

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