Since the inception of World Championship in 1950, the number of female drivers in Formula One history has been countable. Only five women racing drivers have entered at least one Grand Prix and out of which only two of them ever qualified and started a race. However, there have been several female test drivers contracted by the Formula One teams, while some female drivers have participated in non-competition testing and evaluation sessions with Formula One teams.
In 2012. Williams signed the British racer Susie Wolff as a development and test driver, who later on went on to become the first woman to take part in a Formula One race weekend in 22 years when she participated in the first practice session at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
The team’s willingness to sign in female drivers has been positive with the recent signing news from Sauber, who roped in the Colombian driver Tatiana Calderón as a development driver for 2017 season. Later for 2018 season, she has been promoted to test driver role.
Here are the five female drivers in Formula One history.
#5 Maria Teresa de Filippis
Maria Teresa De Filippis is remembered as a pioneer in the male-dominated sport, though her Formula One career was brief.
This Italian racing driver was the first women to race in Formula One at 1958 Monaco Grand Prix, after starting her racing career as a 22-year-old. Maserati was a successful Formula One chassis manufacturer in the 1950s, signed Maria Teresa getting impressed of her performance in Italian sports car championship who finished second during the 1954 season.
De Filippis entered five races in the 1958 and 1959 seasons, scored her best result of the tenth position in the 1959 Belgian Grand Prix, which makes her the only female to have finished a World Championship Formula One race in a point-scoring position.
After the tragic death of Jean Behra at a support race for the 1958 German Grand Prix, devastated De Filippis was away from the racing circuits for around 20 years until 1979 when she joined the International Club of Former F1 Grand Prix drivers and went on to take the role of Vice President in 1997.