List of female Formula One drivers

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This is a list of female motor racing drivers who have taken part in the Formula One World Championship since the inception of the World Championship for Drivers in 1950.

Five women racing drivers have entered at least one Grand Prix, although only two of them ever qualified and started a race. The woman who competed in the most Grands Prix is Lella Lombardi, with 17 entries and 12 starts.

Desiré Wilson became the only woman to win a Formula One race of any kind when she won at Brands Hatch in the British Aurora F1 series on 7 April 1980. As a result of this achievement, she has a grandstand at Brands Hatch named after her.[1]


Lombardi: first and only woman to score points.

The involvement of women in Formula One was pioneered by Italian Maria Teresa de Filippis who entered five races in the 1958 and 1959 seasons[2] and started three[2] scoring a best result of tenth position in the 1958 Belgian Grand Prix.[3][4] In the following race in France, the race director denied his involvement, saying that “the only helmet that a woman should use is the hairdresser.[5][6] Maria ended her career at the Monaco Grand Prix the following year.

After fifteen years without any women in the category, another Italian, Lella Lombardi, competed in three seasons, from 1974 to 1976. She entered seventeen races and started twelve having her best result in the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix where Lombardi finished in sixth. With the race being stopped before three quarters of the scheduled race distance was completed, only half points were awarded. Lella became the first and so far only woman to score points in the World Championship.[7][8][9][10]

In 1976 the Briton Divina Galica tried to qualify for the British Grand Prix. This was the only Formula One Grand Prix in which multiple female racers (Lombardi and Galica) were entered, but both failed.[8][10][11][12]

In 1980, the South African Desiré Wilson tried to qualify for the British Grand Prix, not succeeding. In the same year she became the only woman to win a Formula One race of any kind when she won at Brands Hatch in the British Aurora F1 series on 7 April 1980. As a result of this achievement, Wilson has a grandstand at Brands Hatch named after her.[1][13]

The last woman to try to compete in a Formula One Grand Prix was Italian Giovanna Amati in 1992. She tried to qualify for three races, but failed in all attempts. She was replaced by Damon Hill, who also failed to classify the car in the following races.[14][15][16]


Official drivers[edit]

Drivers listed in this table are those who have entered a Grand Prix. Actual starts are stated in brackets.

# Name Seasons Teams Entries
1 FilippisItaly Maria Teresa de Filippis 19581959 Maserati, Behra-Porsche 05 (3) 40
2 LombardiItaly Lella Lombardi 19741976 March, RAM, Williams 17 (12) 50.5
3 GalicaUnited Kingdom Divina Galica 1976, 1978 Surtees, Hesketh 03 (0) 2
4 WilsonSouth Africa Desiré Wilson 1980 Williams 01 (0) 3
5 AmatiItaly Giovanna Amati 1992 Brabham 03 (0) 1

Test drivers[edit]

Susie Wolff: test driver

Some female drivers have participated in non-competition testing and evaluation sessions with Formula One teams. IndyCar driver Sarah Fisher performed a demonstration run with McLaren after first practice for the 2002 United States Grand Prix.[17] Katherine Legge tested with Minardi at the Vallelunga Circuit in 2005.[18]

Other female drivers have been contracted to Formula One teams in testing and development capacities. In 2012, Williams signed Susie Wolff as a development and test driver,[19][20] and María de Villota was a test driver for Marussia[21] until her crash in 2012 and death the following year.[22] In 2014, Sauber signed IndyCar Series driver Simona de Silvestro as an "affiliated driver", with the goal of having her compete in 2015.[23] In 2015 Lotus F1 signed Carmen Jordá to a deal including a run in a car.[24]

In 2014, Susie Wolff was the first woman to take part in a Formula One race weekend in 22 years, at the British Grand Prix, at Silverstone.[25] She became the first woman to participate in a Formula One weekend since 1992, when Giovanna Amati made three unsuccessful Grand Prix qualification attempts. However her time on the track was cut short after an engine problem occurred after completing just one timed lap.[26] On 18 July 2014, Wolff drove in a free practice session at the German Grand Prix. This session also started with car problems, but these were solved and Wolff managed to put in a good performance, finishing the session in 15th place out of 22 cars with a time of 01:20.769 just a few hundredths of a second behind experienced team mate Felipe Massa's 11th place time of 01:20.542. In 2015 Wolff who drove during pre-season F1 testing, clocked a 1:29.708 (14th place) in Friday's first free session of the Spanish Grand Prix, six places and 0.877s adrift of regular driver Felipe Massa (8th place with 01:28.831). She then managed to post a 1:37.242 in the free practice session at the British Grand Prix for a respectable 13th place out of 20 cars.

On 4 November 2015, Wolff announced on the BBC that she was retiring from Formula One racing, citing that she had always said that she would go when she felt that she could go no further; she felt that she had gone as far as she could go, but expressed intentions to help other women in motor racing.[27] However, she stated that she would compete in the 2015 Race of Champions at the end of November for Scotland with former F1 driver David Coulthard and would subsequently retire from all forms of motorsport.[28]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Diepraam, Mattijs (October 1998). "F1's only female winner". FORIX 8W. Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "F1: Primeira mulher a pilotar um Formula 1 é "estrela" em Portimão". Autoportal. 12 October 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "Escocesa é a primeira mulher a participar de treino oficial da F1 em 22 anos". UOL. 4 July 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Maria Teresa de Filippis races in Portuguese Grand Prix - Aug 24, 1958". Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "TOP CINQ: Cinco Penélopes Charmosas". Bandeira Verde. 19 August 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "Maria Teresa De Filippis - Sport - The Observer". The Observer. 5 March 2006. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Espanhola é esperança de presença feminina na F1 após 20 anos - F1 - iG". IG. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Que fim levou? - Lella Lombardi". UOL. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "Lombardi feat was mere footnote to tragic 1975 race". Reuters. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "Coluna La Rascasse: As mulheres e a Fórmula 1". F1Mania. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "Women in Formula One". Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Women in F1: still a distant dream? - IOL Motoring F1 Grand Prix". IOL. 7 May 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  13. ^ "Desire Wilson: The story of F1's only race-winning woman - F1 Fanatic". F1 Fanatic. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  14. ^ "Lika In-Loko: Mulheres na F1 - um resgate feminino". F1Mania. 19 August 2009. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  15. ^ "Lembra se de...Giovanna Amati?". 8 September 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "Giovanna Amati - F1 Driver Profile -". Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  17. ^ "Sarah Fisher to drive McLaren". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. 19 September 2002. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "Katherine Legge makes Minardi debut". 23 November 2005. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Elizalde, Pablo (11 April 2012). "Susie Wolff joins Williams as development driver". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  20. ^ Noble, Jonathan (15 July 2013). "Wolff, Juncadella join Williams for young driver test at Silverstone". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  21. ^ "Maria de Villota joins Marussia F1 team as test driver for the 2012 season". Autosport. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  22. ^ Associated Press (11 October 2013). "Former Formula One test driver Maria de Villota dies". USA Today. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  23. ^ Press Association (14 February 2014). "Sauber hire IndyCar driver Simona de Silvestro to prepare her for F1". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  24. ^ Autosport (26 February 2014). "F1: Lotus signs Jorda to development role". Racer. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  25. ^ "British Grand Prix 2014: Susie Wolff the first woman to take part in a Formula One race weekend in 22 years". Independent. 4 July 2014. 
  26. ^ "Susie Wolff hits trouble on British GP F1 debut for Williams". BBC Sport. 4 July 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  27. ^ "WILLIAMS CONFIRMS SUSIE WOLFF TO RETIRE FROM MOTORSPORT". Williams Grand Prix Engineering. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  28. ^ McKenzie, Lee (4 November 2015). "A return to Mexico, a farewell to Wolff". Motor Sport magazine. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  29. ^ The Observer, Interview to Maria Teresa De Filippis
  30. ^ GPGuide – Driver Profile: Maria Teresa de Filippis
  31. ^ Google Books, Fast Ladies: Female Racing Drivers 1888 to 1970
  32. ^ The Official Formula 1 Website, Results of 1976 British Grand Prix