MARIA DE FILIPPIS.........1926 - 2016

An Italian racing driver that was the first woman in Formula One. She raced for Maserati in 1958 just as I was becoming interested in Formula One. The Belgian Grand Prix was the only race that she finished. In keeping with the thought that women should not play in the men's world the race director of the French Grand Prix would not allow her to race. Doesn't matter, she opened the door. Here we are though 58 years later and there still aren't any female drivers in Formula One. There are some in the testing mode, but none racing in that venue. In 1959 she moved to Porsche, but after failing to qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix she took a walk on racing that lasted for 20 years. In 1979 she joined the International Club of Former Formula One Grand Prix Drivers. She became their vice president in 1997. She was also a founding member of the Maserati Club in 2004 and became its chairman.

photo credit: © 2016 Google
video credit: © 2016 Maserati / You Tube