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First Female F1 Driver Dies

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First Female F1 Driver Maria Teresa de Filippis Dies

First Female F1 Driver Maria Teresa de Filippis Dies

The first woman to race in a Formula 1 sport, Maria Teresa de Filippis, has died aged 89 years, the Grand Prix Drivers Club has announced.

The Italian competed in three grand prix races for the Maserati team in 1958 with a best finish of 10th at Spa in Belgium.

She retired at the end of 1959 following the death of her team-owner Jean Behra.

“Too many friends had died,” she later told The Observer newspaper in 2006.

The Italian reportedly became a F1 driver after a bet with her brothers over how fast she could drive.

In the interview with The Observer, she related only one instance of prejudice, recalling how at a race in France “the director said ‘the only helmet a woman should wear is the one at the hairdresser’s’ – that was the only time I was prevented from racing.”

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