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Introducing SB's new ambassador Susie Wolff

posted on Wednesday, 10th September 2014 | find under 
Introducing Susie Wolff, Formula One racing driver, all-round fitness fan, role model for women – and brand-new Sweaty Betty Ambassador.
Susie Wolff is an extraordinary woman by any standards. As one of only a handful of women in motor racing, the 31-year-old Scotswoman is leading the way for women in male-dominated careers. She's a true gamechanger for women in sport - here are 10 reasons why.


1. Winning awards at an early age
Susie’s career in cars started when she started karting as an eight year old . A natural behind the wheel, in 1996 she was named the British Woman Kart Racing Driver of the Year, an award she then won every year until 1999.


2. Making history as a woman
In 2001 Susie made the step up from kart racing to single-seater racing. She moved up through the ranks in Formula Renault and then to Formula Three. By 2003 and 2004 she was making history by being the first ever female driver to be nominated for the prestigious McLaren Autosport Young Driver Award.


3. The dangers of the sport
Motor racing is a dangerous sport. The G force can make your eyeballs pop out of their sockets, moving your head just a fraction can result in a broken neck and you could lose your arm or fingers if you attempt to dangle them outside of the car at full speed. And there’s always the danger of a crash too – Susie was a close friend of Spanish driver Maria de Villota, who died last year from injuries she suffered in a motor racing crash.


4. Earning respect from big names
Susie’s big career break came in 2005 when she tested Mercedes Benz' German Touring Car. She was offered a contract and went onto make her debut in DTM - the German Touring Car Masters - in 2006. She finished her first race within the top ten, earning the respect of her male colleagues and competitors. 2010 was her most successful season in DTM and she ended her fifth season ahead of her colleagues – and big names in motor sport - Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard.

5. Staying fit for the job
Staying fit is vitally important to her motor racing career. “Being fit is a massive part of my job. Although it might not look like it, the G forces your body has to cope with when driving makes it very physical. Women have 30% less muscle than men and people always argue that a woman wouldn’t be fit enough for F1. I train hard to fight against this misconception. I wouldn’t be doing what I do if I didn’t think it was possible physically,” Susie says.

6. The first female in Formula One
In 2012 after 73 races and seven seasons, Susie’s dream of driving an F1 car came true as she was signed by the Williams F1 team to work as a development driver. Still working there today, her job involves everything from testing the latest cars to driving celebrities around Grand Prix tracks.


7. Roll of honour
In 2013, in honour of her role as an ambassador for women in sport, Susie was awarded an Honorary Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh by the Chancellor of the University and Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal.

8. Leading the way in F1
A second big career break came in March this year, when Williams F1 announced that Susie would take part in two F1 practice sessions in Britain and Germany. I
n July, Susie became the first woman to take part in a Formula One race weekend in 22 years at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

9. A lone female in Grand Prix entry lists
In 64 years, just five females have made Grand Prix entry lists, most recently British driver Divina Galica in 1972.

10. Embracing femininity
Susie chooses to embrace femininity rather than fight it. “I love fashion and use it as a way of fighting against the stereotype that a female racing driving can’t be feminine,” she says. She names the CEO of Facebook 
Sheryl Sandberg and the president of the Women & Motorsport Commission Michele Mouton as her inspirations. 


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