Susie Wolff continued her preparations for her first appearance in a free practice session by completing 55 laps around the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain in the Williams FW36. Wolff is scheduled to run in FP1’s in both Silverstone and Hockenheim in July, but this was her first taste of the 2014 machinery in which she will be driving there. She ended the day fifth fastest, with her only mistake being a spin into the turn ten gravel trap early in the morning session.
“This was my first opportunity to drive the FW36 and I learnt a lot about how to drive these new look cars which are very different to previous seasons,” said Wolff. “With last year’s car the harder you pushed the faster you went, but now you have to manage certain elements a lot more. The cars also have a lot more torque, which was a steep learning curve, and this caught me out at the beginning of the session.
“Overall today was a productive day for the team and we worked very well together to quickly complete our planned aero and mechanical evaluations. I was then able to get some good mileage under my belt to understand the characteristics of the car and how to get the most out of this new style of power unit.”
Rod Nelson, the Williams Chief Test and Support Engineer was happy with the day having seen the team worked through its planned programme and allowing Wolff to have some time in the car to acclimatise in preparation for her race weekend debut in July.
“We had a very productive day today, with Susie performing some aero test work and control systems testing and we completed our planned testing programme on schedule this morning,” said Nelson. “The focus this afternoon was then on giving Susie the time in the car she needs to understand the intricacies of the FW36 and to get a feel for how the new look regulations have changed the car’s behaviour.
“The improved weather today also helped us gather the data we need, and we will now be analysing this to make further improvements to the car in time for Monaco.”