F1’s first lady racer, Maria Teresa de Filippis, dies


Maria Teresa de Filippis, the first woman to compete in a Formula 1 Grand Prix back in 1958, has died at the age of eighty-nine.

The Italian saw the chequered flag in only one of the three races she started, finishing tenth in the 1958 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps driving a Maserati 250F, before retiring from both the Portuguese and Italian Grand Prix later in the year.

She had earlier in the season failed to qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix, something she repeated at the same track the following year in 1959, before hanging up her racing helmet following the death of her Porsche team owner Jean Behra later that year in a sports car race at the German AVUS circuit.

She stayed away from motorsport, marrying in 1960 and starting a family, before joining the International Club of Former F1 Grand Prix Drivers in 1979, taking on the role of vice-president in 1997.

Only one other woman has competed in a Formula 1 Grand Prix since de Filippis, with Lella Lombardi starting twelve races between 1974 and 1976, while Davina Galica, Desire Wilson and Giovanna Amati have all participated in events but ultimately failed to qualify.

Susie Wolff was the last female driver to compete in an official Formula 1 session, taking part for the Williams Martini Racing team in four free practice sessions between 2014 and 2015 before hanging up her own helmet.