Susie WolffIn as male-dominated a sport as motor racing, women drivers are still a rarity – but not without their exceptions. Danica Patrick has become a household name in IndyCar and NASCAR, Vanina Ickx (daughter of legendary F1 driver Jacky) has contested Le Mans seven times, Sabine Schmitz is rightly known as the Queen of the Ring, and Natacha Gachnang has made a name for herself in Formula 3 and GT racing. But the latest announcement revolves around one Susie Wolff.

Driving for Mercedes-Benz in the DTM touring car series for the past several years, Susie has now been hired as a development driver for the Williams F1 team. In her new capacity, she'll be helping the team work out kinks in their simulator, the aerodynamics of the FW34 chassis and even undertake a full track test at an upcoming grand prix.

Now if you're thinking "Wolff and Williams – why do those names sound familiar together," you've got a keen memory. Toto Wolff is a board member and part owner of the team – and just also happens to be her husband. Follow the jump for the official announcement.
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Susie Wolff appointed Development Driver for the Williams F1 Team

The Williams F1 Team today confirmed that Susie Wolff will join the team as its Development Driver.

Born in Scotland, Susie Wolff has had the classic racing career, beginning in karting and then moving to junior single-seater series and was twice nominated for the prestigious Young Driver of the Year Award before moving up to DTM. In 2012, Susie will contest her seventh season in DTM.

Frank Williams, Team Principal of the Williams F1 Team, said, "Susie is a talented, successful and highly professional racing driver who competes in one of the world's most fiercely-contested racing series. Susie will join Williams as a Development Driver, in which capacity she will assist us with the development of our simulator and other technical challenges. Susie will also undertake some aerodynamic testing of the FW34 and a full track test in the coming months. Susie will also attend a number of races with us. I should add that, as Susie is married to Toto Wolff, a Director of Williams, her appointment was carefully considered and then approved by the Board, with Toto recusing himself from the process."

Susie Wolff said, "I would like to thank Sir Frank for giving me this opportunity both on and off the track. I must also thank Mercedes Benz AMG and HWA for supporting me to take up this new experience with Williams. Formula One is the ultimate challenge for any racing driver and it offers me the chance both to apply and to improve the skills I have developed racing in DTM. In return I shall be offering some of my own technical insight and experience – coming from a different discipline – and helping the team engage with its partners. I hope also to demonstrate that women can play a role at the highest levels of motorsport and I shall be working closely with the team on its social responsibility programme in the areas of education and road safety."

Bernie Ecclestone, Chief Executive of Formula One, welcomed the announcement: "If Susie is as quick in a car as she looks good out of a car then she will be a massive asset to any team and on top of that she is very intelligent. I am really looking forward to having her in Formula One."