Susie Wolff Profile

  • She is recognized as the most successful female racing driver in Europe.

  • She made history as the first female to drive a Formula One racing car in over 20 years.

  • A dignified athlete with unshakeable character, she has inspired many girls to explore motor sport and many industries to embrace diversity.
  • One of the greatest female racers of our time, Susie Wolff made history by becoming the first woman behind the wheel of a Formula 1 racing car in over 20 years. Along the way, she broke numerous stereotypes, including the notion that “women couldn’t deal with the mental stress of being behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car.”

    While karting at age eight, Susie discovered her passion for being behind the wheel. She quickly advanced in the world of amateur competitive driving. Before she had graduated high school, she already ranked within the world’s 15 top “Formula A” drivers.

    The jump to pro was a challenging standoff against stereotypes and bias against women in a heavily macho sport. Susie had to continually raise money and prove her worth to sponsors in order to compete in upper division races. She notched three podiums in the Formula Renault UK Championship and was twice nominated for British Young Driver of the Year Award. After a brief spell in Formula 3, she made her name with Mercedes-Benz in DTM, the German Touring Car Championship, between 2006 and 2012. It was in this year that Susie moved into F1, being signed by Williams.

    Susie entered as a development driver for the team, holding the position for two seasons before being promoted to a test driver for the 2015 season. At the 2014 British Grand Prix Susie made history by becoming the first woman to take part in a Formula One race weekend in 22 years.

    In 2016 Susie launched her own initiative called Dare To Be Different in collaboration with the UK Motorsport Governing Body, the Motor Sports Association. The initiative aims to drive female talent – inspiring, connecting and showcasing within male-dominated industries.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      One of the only women to ever compete in Formula 1, Susie Wolff shares her unique and inspiring story with audiences as a keynote speaker to remind us that it is passion and character that gets us around those tricky bends in pursuit of our goals.

      From a family of racers, what started as a hobby quickly turned into a passion; she was already racing at club level by the time she was eight and had snagged the title of European and International champion by her early teens.

      Watching Jensen Button win a Formula 3 race in 1996 was a turning point for Susie, spurring her on to reach the highest echelons of the sport.

      In 2001, Susie debuted in single-seater racing with Formula Renault. Two years later, selected as the BRDC Rising Star, she qualified as the only woman for the final round of the coveted McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award.

      The following year, she made the leap into the British F3 International Series, but broke her ankle and had to withdraw. Happily, disaster turned to triumph when, only a few weeks later, Susie was signed to Mercedes Benz.

      Susie’s DTM debut in 2006 saw her finish in the top ten, and she became part of the most popular touring car championships in the world. Her most successful season was 2010 when she finished finished seventh, and she ended her fifth season ahead of her brand colleagues Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard.

      In 2012, Susie signed as Development Driver for the Williams F1 Team, and made her first appearance in a full test in 2013. History was made when she became the first female in 22 years to drive on a Grand Prix weekend, first at Silverstone and then at Hockenheim, finishing only 0.227 seconds behind team-mate and World Champion Filipe Massa.

      Following this success, Williams promoted Susie to Official Test Driver for the 2015 F1 season, which saw her take to the track in two FP1 sessions and two test days. She also conducted extensive simulator testing to help in the ongoing development of the team’s F1 cars.

      She works as a FIA Women in Motorsport Ambassador as well as representing the Wings for Life Foundation that has set an ultimate goal to make spinal cord injury curable. Susie was also awarded an Honorary Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh ‘in recognition of her role as an ambassador for women in sport’ (she had interrupted her studies at Edinburgh’s Business School in 2001 in order to turn professional).

      Susie’s progression in Formula 1 represents so much more than a racing driver simply trying to reach the pinnacle of the sport – her achievements are a celebration of women succeeding both on and off the track and an inspiration to anyone who dares to dream big.

    Susie Wolff Speaking Videos

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    Susie Wolff's Speech Descriptions

    While most know her as a top notch athlete, Susie Wolff is also a first class speaker, bilingual in English and German. A strong unstoppable woman, she shares her unlikely story of paving the way for women in motor sports and Formula One racing.

    Susie is the perfect person to address the mechanics of teamwork, the mathematics of risk-taking, and the importance of following your dream. To quote Susie, “Everyone told me I had to have a plan B but if you have a plan B you won’t be focused on plan A…Find your passion in life. Go with your gut feeling. Dream and dream big, but with a plan.”

    Susie Wolff is an exceptional high-profile speaker who will undoubtedly captivate and inspire your audience. Her extensive experience in the fast-growing world of motorsport, coupled with the challenges she has overcome as a former racing driver, team owner, CEO of a racing team, and now as the Managing Director of the Formula 1 Academy, make her a remarkable individual.

    Throughout her journey, Susie has consistently confronted and triumphed over gender stereotypes, making her an advocate for empowerment and inclusivity.

    Through her compelling story, Susie will contribute to your strategic development by providing fresh perspectives on leadership, emphasizing the importance of authenticity, continuous learning, and self-improvement. She will also underscore the significance of fostering an environment where every individual feels valued and empowered, harnessing the full potential of their strengths.

    In terms of diversity and inclusion, Susie will draw parallels between the rapidly evolving world of motorsport and other industries, shedding light on strategies to achieve diversity, gender equity, and inclusion within organizations.

    Additionally, she can delve into various thought-provoking topics, including team dynamics, strong leadership, talent retention, managing generational differences, resilience, conflict resolution, coping with high-stress environments in motorsport (particularly Formula 1), adapting to change and technological advancements, striving to be the best version of oneself, the power of performance, and fostering innovation.

    Susie has enjoyed public speaking since she was young entering public speaking competitions during her High School years and now enjoys speaking at events covering a number of topics for example:

    • My Story - Motorsport is not just a man's world. From starting as an 8 year old in karts to achieving my dream of driving in Formula 1.
    • Diversity - we are not defined by our gender but by our passion and character.
    • Motivational - dream big and always set goals. We all have a gut feeling inside leading us towards happiness and fulfillment.

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