Motor racing-Woman driver Wolff sidelined after four laps

SILVERSTONE, England, July 4 Fri Jul 4, 2014 6:21am EDT

SILVERSTONE, England, July 4 (Reuters) - Susie Wolff became the first woman driver in 22 years to take part in a Formula One race weekend on Friday but her involvement in British Grand Prix practice lasted barely 20 minutes.

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

Wolff, wife of Mercedes motorsport head Toto, managed 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.

She was still 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.

Massa spun 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. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Keith Weir)

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