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First female F1 driver Maria Teresa de Filippis passes away

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Maria Teresa de Filippis, the first woman to race in a Formula 1 grand prix has died at the age of 89.

  • The Italian started three grand prix for the Maserati team in 1958 with a best finish of 10th at Spa in Belgium.
  • The late Lella Lombardi, another Italian, who started 12 grand prix between 1974-76 is the only other woman to start a Formula 1 race.

First female F1 driver Maria Teresa de Filippis passes awayAbout Maria Teresa de Filippis
De Filippis was born on 11 November 1926 in Naples, Italy. She was a keen horse rider in her teenage years.

  • De Filippis attempted to qualify for the opening race of the 1959 season at Monaco, but was unable to make the cut for the 16-car grid with the Behra-Porsche team.
  • She walked away from the sport following the death of her team owner Jean Behra in 1959 and retired from racing aged 23.
  • De Filippis later became vice president and then honorary president of the Club Internationale des Anciens Pilotes de Grand Prix F1 for retired drivers.
  • She was also a founding member of the Maserati Club and went on to become its president.

She participated in 5 World Championship Grand Prix but scored no championship points. Though largely unsuccessful in her Formula One racing career, she won races in other series and is remembered as a pioneer in the sport.