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First female F1 driver Maria Teresa de Filippis dies at 89

First female F1 driver Maria Teresa de Filippis dies at 89 image

Text: Martin Aguilar / Photos: LAT Photographic | posted January 11, 2016 12:57

De Filippis defied the racing norm

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

De Filippis made three grand prix starts for the Maserati team in 1958, finishing 10th at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium for her best result.

Earlier that year, the Italian racedriver had failed to qualify for the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix. Then, she attempted to qualify for Monaco once again in 1959 on board a Berha-Porsche. De Filippis walked away from the sport following the death of team owner Jean Behra later that year.

De Filippis returned to motorsport in 1979 when she joined the Club Internationale des Anciens Pilotes de Grand Prix F1 for retired drivers, where she became vice president in 1997 and eventually going on to become its honorary president.

De Filippis, who was born in Naples, began racing after her brothers bet that she wouldn't be fast enough.

On the other hand, the late Lella Lombardi is the only other woman who recorded an F1 race start. She started 12 grands prix between 1974 and 1976.