Somebody may think that the presence of a woman at the wheel of a Formula 1 car is something exotic, but this is not entirely true. The presence of rare exceptions occurs in the early years of this sport. From 1958 to 1992, names like Maria Teresa de Filippis, Lella Lombardi, Divina Galica, Desiré Wilson and Giovanna Amati were actually racing in the pinnacle of motorsport. Lella Lombardi has reached half a point (the 6th place in the race is completed before the predicted number of laps), which is the most visible female result in F1.
In this article, we will look at some of the latest examples of female drivers knocking on the door of Formula 1…
Susie Wolff (formerly Stoddart), Toto Wolff’s wife was a Wiliams test driver, who also drove DTM. She was driving Williams F1 car at four free practices in 2014/15 Formula 1 season. Here results were by no means weak, nothing outstanding, but she wasn’t bad. Despite the extraordinary media attention, domestic political support, and undoubtedly the racing skills did not get the right opportunity to show up and prove it with other boys.
Maria de Villota
The other hero, unfortunately, a tragic one, was Maria de Villota. Daughter of Emilia, a minor driver at the late 70th’s signed a contract with Lotus F1 team (2011) and later with Marussia (2012) to become a team test driver. Maria participates in the so-called development program at the airport in Duxford. During acceleration testing at speeds of approx. 60 km/h she crashed into the lowered loading ramp of the own team vehicle. She suffered severe head injuries and lost her eye. On the morning of 11 October 2013, exactly one year from her first public appearance after her testing accident, Spanish media reported that De Villota, aged 33, had been found dead in her Seville hotel room.
The third hero is Carmen Jordá, the Lotus Renault test driver in the 2015/16 season. She was controversial due to her extremely attractive appearance and lack of results on any basis. Marco Sørensen once said that Carmen was 12 seconds off his time in the Lotus F1 team simulator, which could be an exaggeration or indeed true.
Maybe the most talented one is Tatiana Calderón Noguera, a Colombian racing driver from Bogotá. She is the test driver for the Alfa Romeo Formula One team and drives for BWT Arden in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, becoming the first woman to drive in the series. Calderón was the first woman to stand on the podium in the British Formula 3 International Series and the first to lead a lap in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.