Williams confirm that Susie Wolff will take part in practice sessions this coming season
Scot will become first woman to take part in race weekend since 1992
By Mike Wise. Last Updated: 26/02/14 2:15pm
Susie Wolff will take part in free practice at two grands prix this coming season, Williams announced on Monday.
Although Wolff's P1 appearances will stop her short of a full race debut, the 31-year-old Scot will nevertheless become only the second British woman to take part in a grand prix weekend.
It is believed that the two practice sessions will be at the British and German Grands Prix.
"I'm not too worried about being in the spotlight or the attention it brings - I just focus on the job," Wolff said.
"I always said that the minute I'd joined Williams F1 and was able to make the step-up to Formula 1 that it's about doing a good job - it's about proving yourself each step of the way."
Wolff therefore follows Divina Galica, who tried unsuccessfully to qualify for races during both the 1976 and 1978 Formula 1 seasons. The last woman to try and qualify was Italian Giovanna Amati, who entered the first three GPs of the 1992 season with Brabham.
Maria Teresa de Filippis of Portugal and Italy's Lella Lombardi remain the only women to contest races, with Lombardi claiming half a World Championship point after finishing sixth in the shortened 1975 Spanish GP.
South Africa's Desire Wilson also took part in her home race in 1981, although it was not part of the World Championship that year.
Two weeks ago, Sauber named Simona De Silvestro as their "affiliated" driver for the coming season, with the Swiss aiming for a race seat in 2015.
"If my chance comes then brilliant - I'm going to take it with both hands. But if it doesn't then I'm going to at least hope I've paved the way for more women to try and for more women to realise that Formula 1 isn't just for men," Wolff said.
Wolff tested for Williams at Silverstone last summer
From Oban, Wolff started out in karting and raced Formula Renault and F3 before switching to Germany's DTM touring car series.
Signed by Williams in 2012 as a development driver, Wolff, who is married to Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, tested for them at Silverstone in July last year.
"This is a natural progression after my young drivers' test, so for me, I've just got to focus on doing a good job and not really worry about the rest," she added.
"I don't really analyse it too much - I'm incredibly lucky to be part of a brilliant Formula 1 team with an incredible heritage - Williams F1 - I feel very lucky to be in that team."
She will take the wheel of an FW36 during opening practice, for which cars can use an extra set of tyres this season to try and ensure more action.
Wolff will also test the car during one of the four days of in-season testing teams will be allowed to undertake.
The third and final pre-season test starts on Thursday morning in Bahrain. The Sky Sports F1 Online team will be providing live commentary from dawn until dusk on all four days, with live updates from trackside also on Sky Sports News.