But it was a happier story at Hockenheim as the 31-year-old Scot completed 20 laps finishing a highly respectable 15th.
Her best lap time of one minute 20.769 seconds was just 0.227 seconds behind Williams’ driver Felipe Massa who finished the session in 11th place.
Things had not looked so promising for Wolff earlier in the day as she crawled round her out lap in first gear before returning to the pits.
Thankfully, it wasn’t long before the mechanical problems were resolved and she was back on track — even briefly clocking the fastest lap of the session.
Wolff has been a development driver for Williams since 2012 and is the first female driver to participate in a F1 race weekend since Italy’s Giovanna Amati attempted to qualify for three races during the 1992 season.
“She’s very, very talented,” said the Mercedes driver, who raced against her in his junior career in karting and Formula Renault. “It’s really cool to see her in a Formula One car.
“I didn’t race against many girls. Susie was one of the very few, if not the only one, I raced against. We shared a podium together a couple of times.”
Wolff, who replaced Massa’s teammate Valtteri Bottas for Friday’s first practice session, finished 1.638 seconds off the pace set by current championship leader Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton was fractionally behind (0.065 seconds) his teammate with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso third and Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull fourth.
The Australian’s teammate and last year’s race winner Sebastian Vettel finished the session in sixth, one place behind McLaren’s Jenson Button.