Formula 1's first female driver?

It hasn’t been seen for over 20 years, but a female has finally conducted some meaningful racing laps in a Formula 1 car.

Scottish racer Susie Wolff spent an entire day testing a Williams F1 car at Silverstone recently, with her speedy times bolstering her claim to a full-time race seat.

Of the 16 drivers that took part in the test, Wolff was ninth fastest – just over two seconds slower than current world champion Sebastian Vettel.

But despite making headlines worldwide, Wolff maintains she wants to earn her race seat on merit, not because of her gender.

"Some say I seem very reluctant to play the female card but ultimately a race team is only going to put the best driver they can in a race car," the 30-year-old Scot told the media.

"It was important to show that I have the performance. I'm really pleased. "I'm not going to say 'give me the [seat] right now because I'm a girl and I was fast enough.' I've got to keep fighting hard."

Wolff is the wife of Williams shareholder Toto Wolff, who also directs the Mercedes F1 team.

Just two women have qualified to race in Formula 1, the most successful being Italian Lella Lombardi who started 12 grand prix in the 1970s.

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