Formula 1 - Williams's Wolff sidelined after four laps of free practice

Susie Wolff became the first woman driver in 22 years to take part in a Formula One race weekend, but it was not an auspicious morning for her.

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Susie Wolff before free practice (Reuters)

She got through just four laps before an oil pressure problem forced her to park up by the side of the track on a sunny but breezy morning at Silverstone.

"That's F1," she said.

"Going out there was the best feeling and although there's been a lot of media around this run, once I had put the helmet on that was the best feeling, and as soon as I had left the pit lane, everything felt good. Unfortunately it was a short run but I'm going to look forward to Hockenheim [where the German Grand Prix takes place on July 20]."

Wolff is the first woman to take part in any stage of a Grand Prix weekend since Italian Giovanna Amati tried and failed to qualify with Brabham in 1992.

Italian Lella Lombardi, in 1976, was the last woman to race in Formula One.

It was a bad morning all round for Williams, who finished third and fourth in Austria the weekend before last. Felipe Massa then brought out the red flags after a heavy crash that also ruled him out of the rest of the session.

He span and hit the wall hard near the exit to Stowe corner with just over an hour of practice remaining, bringing the session to a halt. The Brazilian was unhurt in the impact but the car suffered heavy damage.

"I'm fine. I hit the outside of the kerb and it just pushed me inside," said the former Ferrari driver, who will be starting his 200th race this weekend but first at Silverstone with a British team.

Nico Rosberg finished fastest with a lap of one minute 35.424 seconds with team-mate Lewis Hamilton, 29 points behind in the standings after eight races, second but 0.731 seconds slower than the championship leader.

Hamilton has not won his home race since 2008 but desperately needs to do so to regain the momentum after being beaten by the German in the last three grands prix.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was third on the timesheets, 0.839 off Rosberg's pace with Red Bull's Australian Daniel Ricciardo fourth.

1st Free Practice Session from the Formula One British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit on Friday

1. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1:35.424

2. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1:36.155

3. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1:36.263

4. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1:36.623

5. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1:36.703

6. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault 1:36.921

7. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1:36.963

8. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso - Renault 1:37.175

9. Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - Renault 1:37.227

10. Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 1:37.231

11. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes 1:37.720

12. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Renault 1:37.910

13. Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari 1:38.056

14. Daniel Juncadella (Spain) Force India - Mercedes 1:38.083

15. Giedo van der Garde (Netherlands) Sauber - Ferrari 1:38.328

16. Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia - Ferrari 1:38.917

17. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1:39.461

18. Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia - Ferrari 1:39.814

19. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham - Renault 1:40.597

20. Robin Frijns (Netherlands) Caterham - Renault 1:42.261

21. Susie Wolff (Britain) Williams-Mercedes 1:44.212

22. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Renault

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