November 11 – Today in Hat History
November 11 – Today in Hat History. Maria Teresa de Filippis.
Madge celebrates the life of Maria Teresa de Filippis, born today in 1926 in Naples, Italy; the first women to race in Formula One.
De Filippis participated in five World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 18 May 1958, 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.
She began her racing career at the age of 22 after goading by her brothers who bet she would be too slow to qualify. De Filippis took that bet and won her first race, driving a Fiat 500. She went on to drive in the Italian sports car championship, finishing second in the 1954 season. Seeing her potential, Maserati hired her as team driver.
De Filippis took part in various motor racing events, before getting the chance to drive in Formula One. She finished second in a race supporting the 1956 Naples Grand Prix, driving a Maserati 200S.
Retiring in 1960, she married and started a family. She stayed away from racing until 1979 when she joined the International Club of Former F1 Grand Prix Drivers, assuming the role of Vice-President in 1997. She was also a founding member of the Maserati Club in 2004 and would eventually become its chairman. De Filippis now 83 and lives near Milan and has two grandchildren.