Motor racing-Susie Wolff to run new all-female F1 Academy

FILE PHOTO: Williams Formula One test driver Susie Wolff of Britain scratches her head before the first practice session for the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone Race circuit, central England, July 4, 2014. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

MANAMA (Reuters) - Susie Wolff, former principal of the Venturi Formula E team and wife of Mercedes Formula One boss Toto, has been appointed managing director of the new all-female F1 Academy, Formula One said on Wednesday.

The new series aims to help young female drivers move up the motorsport ladder. No woman has started a Formula One grand prix since the late Italian Lella Lombardi in 1976.

Susie Wolff is also a former racer who competed in German Touring Cars (DTM) and served as a development driver for the Williams F1 team.

The Scot will report directly to Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali.

"I believe the F1 Academy can represent something beyond racing," she said in a statement released ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

"It can inspire women around the world to follow their dreams and realise that with talent, passion and determination, there is no limit to what they can achieve."

The inaugural season will include seven rounds with racers supporting the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, in October.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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